Security and privacy concerns of telemedicine still need to be addressed, says GlobalData

The adoption of telemedicine has been accelerated significantly in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. However, despite the increasing usage of the telehealth solutions, this innovation raises the same old questions related to security and privacy concerns, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.  

Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData, comments: “If the virtual connection or data storage is unprotected, sensitive information could be leaked. Furthermore, patients do not have full ownership and visibility on what happens with their personal medical data.”

As a distributed ledger technology, blockchain is uniquely positioned address all of these data security and privacy concerns as it is resistant to data modifications.

Jakimaviciute continues: “While blockchain is not a standalone technology, it can unlock the potential of innovations such as wearables, electronic medical patient records and telemedicine. This technology may prove to become a vital tool for the healthcare systems to secure the future of remote healthcare.”

GlobalData also notes another key issue with the technology: connectivity and access. Telemedicine delivery relies on fast and reliable access to the high-speed broadband. Nevertheless, there is substantial limitation to broadband access, especially among rural and underserved populations.

Jakimaviciute added: “In the long run, implementation of telemedicine can improve not only access to care but also to reduce costs – the outcomes that every health systems is being pushed to achieve. Even though telemedicine presents great potential to transform the healthcare delivery, it needs 5G to achieve its full potential. Most telemedicine applications are reliant on a data transfer to manage healthcare professionals and patient interaction such as video and audio checks. 5G, in combination with other emerging connectivity solutions, is expected to transform healthcare by facilitating the use of wearables, remote patient monitoring and supporting virtual/augmented reality applications.”

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