Online Engagement Rules & Advice For Physicians
Social media and the internet in general is an invaluable tool for healthcare professionals and physicians, however it doesn’t come without its cautions and its challenges. According to a position paper from the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards published in Annals of Internal Medicine the internet represents “a new frontier in medicine” but it also “present numerous and novel challenges to professionalism.”
The paper outlined a new conceptual “framework for analysing medical ethics and professionalism issues” on the internet and provides recommendations for physicians on the use of email, blog, social media sites and more.
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Healthcare Global highlights some of the paper’s suggestions for online communication for safe and effective online engagement >>>
#1. When communicating with patients, physicians should “consistently apply ethical principles for preserving the relationship, confidentiality, privacy, and respect for persons to online settings and communications.”
#2. Pause before posting. The paper states that “the ease of use and immediacy of social media tools can lead to unintended outcomes or messages.”
#3. Avoid patient targeted Googling. Although there are numerous valuable educational resources available, the paper advises physicians to evaluate the quality of online content before giving recommendations to their patients.
#4. Never use the internet to complain about patients, name or no name. Physicians who use blogs, Twitter and other outlets to vent against patients are “disrespectful” and may “undermine trust in the profession.”
#5. Maintain clear and distinct professional and social identities online, but professional standards must be maintained in both spheres. Patients should not be “friended” by physicians and should not be included in the personal or social online interactions of physicians.
#6. Avoid medical humor. Medical humor, though intended for fellow professionals, can easily find a wider audience on the internet.
Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds
Peloton, the popular exercise bikes, were found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks in the latest research from McAfee.
Peloton is a brand of electric bikes that combines high end exercise equipment with cutting-edge technology. Its products use wi fi to connect to a large tablet that interfaces with the components of the exercise device, and provides an easy way for physical activity enthusiasts to attend virtual workout classes over the internet several times a week.
Peloton has garnered attention recently around the privacy and security of its products. So McAfee decided to take a look for themselves and purchased a Peloton Bike+.
Researchers looked at the Android devices and uncovered a vulnerability that could allow an attacker with either physical access to the Bike+ or access during any point in the supply chain to gain to hack into the bike’s tablet, including the camera, microphone and personal data.
For the person using it there would be no indication the Bike+ has been tampered with, potentially putting Peloton’s 16.7 million users at risk.
The flaw was found in the Android Verified Boot (AVB) process. McAfee researchers were able to bypass the Android Verified Boot process, which normally verifies all code and data before booting. They were then able to get the device to boot bypassing this step.
This could potentially lead to the Android OS being compromised by an attacker who is physically present. Even worse, the attacker could boot up the Peloton with a modified credential to gain privileges, granting them access to the bike remotely.
As the attacker never has to unlock the device to boot it up, there would be no trace of their access on the device. This type of attack could also happen at any point from construction to warehouse to delivery, by installing a backdoor into the Android tablet without the user ever knowing.
Given the simplicity and criticality of the flaw, McAfee informed Peloton while auditing was ongoing. The vendor was sent full details, and shortly after, Peloton confirmed the issue and released a fix for it.
Further conversations between McAfee and Peloton confirmed that this vulnerability had also been present on the Peloton Tread exercise equipment.
Peloton’s Head of Global Information Security Adrian Stone, commented on the research: “This vulnerability reported by McAfee would require direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread. Like with any connected device in the home, if an attacker is able to gain physical access to it, additional physical controls and safeguards become increasingly important.
"To keep our members safe, we acted quickly and in coordination with McAfee. We pushed a mandatory update in early June and every device with the update installed is protected from this issue.”