May 17, 2020

Is Transparency In Healthcare Good For Patient Care?

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Healthcare Transparency Could Change Patient Care
NHS Patients undergoing heart surgery will now be able to access information about their doctors performance online. They will also be able to view dat...

NHS Patients undergoing heart surgery will now be able to access information about their doctor’s performance online. They will also be able to view data regarding success and failure rates of the hospital – a move that could put pressure on the c-suite to perform.

Transparency in the healthcare industry is big news at the moment, but is it really beneficial to the running of hospital c-suites?  

The latest online tool has been developed by the University of Manchester and is called Blue Book Online. The aim of the tool is to give patients informed choices about their healthcare. The tool can also be utilised to the advantage of c-suite executives, who can promote their institution online. It will also provide industry standard benchmarks, which could see healthcare across the board improve.

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Pre-operative patients will have access to their doctor’s performance data online, for example they can see how many times they have performed the operation and how well each procedure went, according to the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery.

In addition, the Blue Book Online will provide patients with details about their surgery, including expected outcomes, risk factors and long-term outcomes.

James Roxburgh, President of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery, said, “It seems likely that the only effective way of preventing further gross failures of clinical governance is to have more widespread and transparent use of clinical outcomes data.

“The Blue Book Online and other associated IT tools will empower patients and lead to better decision making by professionals and a more positive patient experience.”

The Society also announced plans to launch an app in the near future. This will allow surgeons on-the-go access to outcomes data and will assist them in making rapid accurate and effective decisions about a patient’s care.

The healthcare industry is becoming more transparent every day. Do you think this is a good thing for healthcare executives? Does it encourage best practice or mean that visible outcomes are focused on rather that the most pressing concerns?

Join the discussion on our Businessfriend page.

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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

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​​​​​​​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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