May 17, 2020

Tips for Developing a Hospital mHealth Strategy

mobile health
mobile devices
Healthcare strategy
3 min
Mobile Technology Needs To Be Part Of Hospital Strategy
Hospitals the world over are talking about mHealth, and a mobile health strategy is becoming a concern for the c-suite similarly to supply chain manage...

Hospitals the world over are talking about mHealth, and a mobile health strategy is becoming a concern for the c-suite similarly to supply chain management and patient care. It’s a big talking point and a topic that cannot be ignored. Hospital CIOs and healthcare IT administrators are looking for new ways to get their heads around mHealth; physicians and nurses are already using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets in their professional day (at the moment, largely for reference purposes), however, many experts in hospital management believe that mHealth tools and applications can, and should, be used more widely to improve processes and patient care.

Healthcare Global takes a look at ways to implement mHealth within a hospital environment and offers best practice tips for developing a watertight mHealth strategy >>> 

#1. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

BYOD strategies are becoming increasingly more popular across many industries, including healthcare. Many health institutions are allowing their employees to use personal devices in a working environment to access information and applications. BYOD strategies have many plus points, for example employees are familiar with their devices making them more efficient, however there are also risks involved when allowing employees to access company information from their own laptops, smartphones and tablets. When implementing BYOD guidelines, be sure to address safety and security online, for example make sure all secure data is password protected and be sure to have systems in place that allow for password changes should an employee leave the business.

 #2. Utilizing Apps In A Hospital Environment

Healthcare executives have in the past shied away from using external applications through fear of diluting information. However, regulators such as Happtique have begun entering the market place providing healthcare executives and professionals with industry standards and benchmarks, thus the use of mobile applications is becoming more widespread and trusted. Hospitals can use apps in many ways, not just to improve patient care, but also to save costs by transferring operations such as billing, room scheduling, payroll and coding to an app format.

#3. Mobile Patient Management Tools

Mobile health has taken a front seat when it comes to delivering patient care. Telehealth robots have begun walking the corridors of hospitals signaling a move towards more and more telehealth applications and devices. Real-time video applications have facilitated this growth. Telehealth is going to continue to grow at a rapid pace, don’t be afraid to embrace it – just as with anything, make sure your staff are properly trained to avoid any hiccups.

#4. Mobile EHR

EHRs are big news in the healthcare arena at the moment, with many physicians and healthcare execs seeing the benefits of adopting the new technology. EHR is being adopted on a mass scale, however many physicians are yet to see its full potential because they are not using it on a mobile platform. Mobile EHR should be encouraged in a hospital environment; it leads to efficiencies, error reduction and cost savings. It is also important to note that proper training needs to be given to ensure patient care is not compromised during the transition.

#5. Secure Messaging

As part of Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, there needs to be secure messaging with patients. In addition, secure and HIPAA compliant messaging among providers and others in the hospital is warranted.

Hospitals present unique workplace issues and deserve special considerations regarding mobile technologies. IT personnel need to develop mobile strategies today to benefit the healthcare provision of tomorrow. 

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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

2 min
​​​​​​​Software security experts McAfee discovered exercise bikes by Peloton are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which the company have since resolved 

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+.

The problem

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. 

The solution

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.”

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