Africa’s eHealth plans tend to have limited requirements for the Internet of Things (IoT). As health systems mull over their IoT strategies, it’s worth considering two scenarios identified in an article in MIT Technology Review. It seems that IoT might help improve patient care by making data-sharing easier. It might also put patients at risk, especially from cyber-security challenges. A solution has a dilemma too. Some want more government oversight and regulation. Others say this approach could stifle innovation that’s crucial to IoT’s trajectory.
The article says prominent computer security experts recently told the US Congress that the “Growing mass of poorly secured devices on the Internet of things represents a serious risk to life and property, and the government must intervene to mitigate it.” A graphic example of the catastrophic risk was the Denial of Service (DoS) attack on Dyn, an Internet infrastructure provider. Cyber-criminals found ways in with a botnet that hacked webcams, camcorders and baby monitors. It shows that the Internet alone can’t support critical systems safely.
A case’s made that IoT manufacturers lack incentives to assign a high priority to security. Regulation’s seen as the solution by many, but precisely how’s a matter of intense debate. Business groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce and the Consumer Technology Association say new IoT regulations could hinder innovation. A challenge seems to be to either reconcile these views or take one side.
As eHNA posted, Africa’s eHealth regulation deficit needs a boost. Countries’ eHealth regulation start to catch up with developed countries before IoT regulation can be introduced. A better option may be for countries to start to introduce IoT regulation as a single, integrated exercise across all sectors. It can be vehicle for both IoT investment and innovation in healthcare.