Digital Health Age takes a look at some of the biggest stories that have emerged over the course of the past week.
Cyber-security on the NHS
The government has published a report detailing its plans to help support the cyber security of the NHS and social care organisations.
The Your Data: Better Security, Better Choice, Better Care report states that the government will invest £21 million into the UK’s 27 major trauma centres. The government’s priority is to increase the cyber-security of these centres, alongside the need to improve NHS Digital’s national monitoring and response capabilities.
The report is a response to the National Data Guardian for Health and Care’s Review of Data Security and the CQC’s review for safe data.
This year’s WannaCry attack is mentioned as a reference for the need of better cyber-security across healthcare organisations. The report outlines numerous methods and plans to better cyber-security for healthcare organisations. These include guidance on unsupported systems and having a named executive board member at each organisation responsible for cyber-security. The report also mentions the need for increased transparency over the use of patient data. By 2018 people will be able to see who has accessed their summary care record and by 2020, they will to see who has used their data.
Bupa has been hit by a data breach after one of its employees walked out of an office with a USB full of customer information.
The managing director for Bupa Global, Sheldon Kenton, spoke about the breach in an online video. He said around 108,000 health insurance policies have been affected but the data doesn’t include any financial or medical data.
The information released includes names, dates of births, nationalities and other contact and administrative details.
About the situation, Kenton said: “We recently discovered an employee of our international health insurance division (which is called ‘Bupa Global’), had inappropriately copied and removed some customer information from the company. Around 108,000 international health insurance policies are affected.
We are contacting those customers who are affected to apologise and advise them as we believe the information has been made available to other parties. The data taken includes: names, dates of birth, nationalities, and some contact and administrative details including Bupa insurance membership numbers.
Protecting the information we hold about our customers is an absolute priority and I would like to assure customers that we are treating this seriously and taking steps to address the situation.”
Nokia’s takeover of the Withing’s brand hasn’t been met with an entirely positive response.
The company’s rebranding and relaunch of the Health Mate app has drawn criticism from users over its lack of features and functionality issues.
Users have said that bugs, missing features such as sleep tracking and lost data are making the product less enjoyable to use compared to when it was under the control of Withings.
Nokia has started updating the service to correct the issues and it will be integrating missing features in the future.
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A trial on the NHS is using DNA readers to see if faster diagnoses for pneumonia can be reached compared to non-sequencing genetic tests and conventional treatments.
The DNA readers will be supplied by biotech firm Oxford Nanopore and will be tested for up to 18 months.
Oxford Nanopore’s device enables genome sequencing to be completed within two days, giving doctors access to patients’ genetic coding so they can identify treatment methods.
Britain’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has said genome testing should be available on the NHS. In her annual report, Davies said: “I believe genomic services should be available to more patients, whilst being a cost-effective service in the NHS. This is exciting science with the potential for fantastic improvements in prevention, health protection and patient outcomes.”