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NHS digital technologies: should we be concerned?

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Digitalisation is generally seen as a good thing, but in a day and age when data breaches are so common, should we be concerned when it comes to increasing use of NHS digital technologies?

Like many other industries, the growing use of technology can be great. We can reduce costs and wastage, increase efficiency, and make communication – which is vital – slick and smooth. When it comes to the healthcare industry, increasing use of technology and digitalisation could arguably save lives and improve patient care.

But with increasing digitalisation comes increasing vulnerability for technology to be exploited. Without adequate defences in place, it can be open season for criminals and fraudsters.

NHS digital technologies: vital but vulnerable

There’s no doubt that increasing use of NHS digital technologies can be a great thing and can improve patient care. Faster access to medical information and records could be the difference between life and death, and computer programs can aid a faster diagnosis.

But with increasing digitalisation comes an increase in the number of doors that are there for cybercriminals to break down. The more doors there are, the more access points there are. And this is the worry.

We’ve seen how the use of outdated technology and software can all but cripple the NHS. The 2017 WannaCry event involved the use of malicious software that could specifically target older and therefore weaker systems, and the NHS was hit hard by it.

Digital defence should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, whatever the sector. Arguably, in the healthcare sector, it should be even more prevalent. After all, we’re talking about medical information here; that’s some of the most personal and sensitive data that there is in existence. This is why data breach compensation amounts for medical data claims can be quite high.

Things must change

We must see meaningful change in order to ensure that adequate defence goes hand-in-hand with increasing use of NHS digital technologies.

It’s highly likely that digitalisation will not stop. In many sectors, competitive edge is gained from the use of technology, and in the case of the healthcare sector, it will likely follow suit.

We ourselves are always making use of more and more technology and digital platforms to make our business more efficient. Mobile working, the Internet of Things, bigger networks, cloud technology; it’s all going to keep growing and growing, I expect. As things like NHS digital technologies continue to grow, as do the risks, and it’s no secret that cybercriminals are smart. If they want to find a way in, they can invest their expertise and resources in trying to break down defences.

Claiming compensation

You can be entitled to make an NHS data breach compensation claim if you have been the victim of an incident which  involves your information being exposed or misused.

We may be able to represent you for a legal case on a No Win, No Fee basis.

For free, no-obligation advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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