E-health: privacy, security questioned

SECURITY

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
E-health: privacy, security questioned

By Issa Sikiti da Silva, in Dakar, Senegal

Although they would not say it in public, many professionals in Africa, as well as in the developed world, have admitted that e-health implementation could be affected by privacy and security issues, an analyst told Biztechafrica in Dakar.

“There will be a lot of data sharing in e-health systems among various healthcare providers and professionals, meaning people’s medical records will be out there in the open, moving from John to Paul to Mary, and that it’s making many professionals very uncomfortable,” IT consultant Ibrahima Ndoye said.

“The big question now is will these systems through which this data will move be safe, secure and effective? This is EPR we’re talking about here, and it’s not only a sensitive issue, but also confidential.”

EPR stands for electronic patient records, and basically consists of digitised paper-based records. Some however call it EHR, electronic health records.

“People shouldn’t just jump of joy about this e-health thing, it’s a very complicated situation that needs a strong legal framework, and in places such as Africa where chaos and inconsistency reign every day in the governance of these systems, the worries and concerns are justified.”

Ndoye’s sentiments seemed to be echoed by Naipeng Dong, Hugo Jonker and Jun Pang, of the Faculty of Sciences, Technology and Communication at the University of Luxembourg.

They said: “E-health systems have to deal with a far more complex constellation of roles: doctors, patients, pharmacists, insurance companies, medical administration, etc.

“Each of these roles has access to different private information and different privacy concerns. As existing privacy approaches from other domains are not properly equipped to handle such a diverse array of roles, privacy must be tailored to the health-care domain.”

Ndoye said each and every system will have to be fitted with strong monitoring mechanisms to ensure that medical data that goes through is not tampered with. “I don’t think e-health will move forward if the privacy and safety concerns are properly addressed,” he said.

Privacy in e-health has been recognised as one of the paramount requirements necessary for adoption by the general public, according to Dong, Jonker and Pang wrote.

The issue of privacy and security of e-health records sparked a heated debate in Australia last year, with various experts and political parties urging the government to amend some sections of Personally Controlled E-Health Record Bills (PCEHR) before passed into law.

One such party was the Greens, who recommended that the government make five amendments to the proposed legislation to include greater privacy protections.

“The issue of privacy and security is an ongoing debate, even in the countries where e-health has supposedly been adopted. There is still some pockets of resistance out there who fear the unknown, and their fears are truly justified.”

 



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

Search News

comments powered by Disqus

MORE SECURITY NEWS

Enhancing your security posture to fight new ransomware threats

Petya ransomware is proving to be one of the top cybersecurity stories of 2016.  Read More

Arbor stops malware in its tracks

There is always a substantial amount of banking trojan activity taking place, however, recent developments have intensified the threat landscape.  Read More

Networks Unlimited certifies Fortinet partners in East Africa

Value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited is intensifying its footprint in East Africa, training its partners and customers in the region to become certified. Read More

Understanding the risk and cost of a DDoS attack

Thw Arbor Networks white paper, The business value of DDoS protections, says a continuing and growing threat to service availability is distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.  Read More

Addressing the threat of cyber-crime in the digital era

Globally-connected cyber-attacks require globally connected and seamlessly integrated cyber defences. Read More

DDoS attacks: An operational risk that should be included in enterprise risk assessments

Today’s enterprises are increasingly motivated to formalise their IT security and place it firmly within the context of their enterprise risk management and business continuity planning.  Read More

Arbor Networks report finds relentless threat environment

Arbor Networks Inc., the security division of NETSCOUT (NASDAQ: NTCT), has released its 11th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR) offering direct insights from the global operational security community on a comprehensive range of issues. Read More

No More Excuses – Time to Get a Grip on Your Cloud Security

Newfound optimism for the cloud inevitably means more critical and sensitive data is put into cloud services. And that means security is going to become a massive issue, says Intel.  Read More

RSA research reveals blind spots in threat detection

RSA, The Security Division of EMC, has released the results of a new Threat Detection Effectiveness Survey. Read More

Banking security in Africa reaching a tipping point

Entersekt CEO Schalk Nolte looks at the growing security risks for banks and financial institutions in Africa and explains why complacency is no longer an option.   Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage EnterpriseSAP AfricaTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks UnlimitedArbor Networks

FEATURED STORY

Government should encourage youths in ICT earlyGovernment should encourage youths in ICT early

Youths should be given more encouragement to develop their ICT skills, an 11-year-old app developer told Kokumo Goodie.

IN DEPTH

IBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South AfricaIBM Opens First Cloud Data Centre in South Africa

IBM is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent.  

COMPANY NEWS

Enhancing your security posture to fight new ransomware threats

Petya ransomware is proving to be one of the top cybersecurity stories of 2016. 

Arbor stops malware in its tracks

There is always a substantial amount of banking trojan activity taking place, however, recent developments have intensified the threat landscape.