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Healthcare industry ill-prepared for GenMobile workforce

Mobile technology-driven hospital or clinic will become the de-facto model for the healthcare industry, says Aruba Networks' Pieter Engelbrecht.

Mobile technology-driven hospital or clinic will become the de-facto model for the healthcare industry, says Aruba Networks' Pieter Engelbrecht.

Healthcare organisations are ill-prepared for the high-risk mindset of the GenMobile workforce, having a lack of security procedures in place to protect a new, more collaborative digital generation entering the workforce.

This is according to Aruba Networks' recent survey, which notes overall employee attitudes are swinging towards a more security-agnostic healthcare workplace, full of risk-prone sharing behaviours that have the potential to be contagious.

The study involved over 1 000 healthcare workers worldwide and looked at how #GenMobile is paving the way for risk-prone behaviour in the medical industry.

According to Darryn O'Brien, country manager at Trend Micro, security breaches in the healthcare industry were prevalent in the third quarter of 2015.

Health and personally identifiable information was the second-most stolen data type out of all data breach categories, he adds.

According to the survey, more than a third (36%) of healthcare professionals report that their organisations use mobile apps to interact with patients, but only three quarters of work mobile devices are password protected.

Sharing is becoming the norm: over half (55%) share their work and personal devices with others regularly, says the report.

The study also shows over a third of the healthcare professionals regularly share their passwords, assuming IT departments will ‘have it covered'.

Close to a fifth of employees don't have passwords on either work or personal devices, with 19% of those stating they don't have security measures in place so they can share more easily, it adds.

Pieter Engelbrecht, regional manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Aruba Networks, says a mobile technology-driven hospital or clinic will become the de-facto model for the healthcare industry, to the benefit of patients, visitors and practitioners.

Drastic efficiency improvements can be made by embracing the connected mobile behaviours of the younger generation, he says.

This can help reduce misdiagnosis levels, while real time data can provide a greater level of patient health monitoring, he adds.

However, steps need to be made to ensure that advancement does not come at the cost of security – especially with depth of personal data at risk.

With healthcare organisations now entering the digital era, an extreme makeover of their information systems is mandatory, says IDC.

IT security remains the greatest concern for healthcare CIOs in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) market, it adds. According to the research firm this is due to the current surge of mobile technology deployments in the region.

Silvia Piai, Europe, Middle East and Africa research manager at IDC Health Insights, says with healthcare organisations now entering the digital era, an extreme makeover of their information systems is mandatory.

"The extended and collaborative work environment enabled by eHealth solutions is a potential threat for security; in turn, security is a condition determining success in the uptake of these solutions."


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