Smartphone healthcare apps have become an indispensable part of our daily lives not only because they save costs for hospital and minimize complexities of getting an appointment from a doctor, but they increase the interaction rate between the doctor and patient. Healthcare apps bridge that gap between a doctor and a patient, and make it possible to monitor patients remotely. However, healthcare apps have a dark side that many do not know about.
How Vulnerable Healthcare Apps can be?
Are healthcare apps secure to use?
Unfortunately, the answer is No. Healthcare apps are not secure enough to use because more than 85% of the FDA-approved healthcare apps lack binary protection and have insufficient transport layer protection, according to a new report from data security company Arxan. These healthcare apps do not store data in encrypted format. It is no secret that present day healthcare apps are seriously vulnerable to multiple security risks from hackers and as well as from app creators. Hackers love to target healthcare apps because such apps stores user’s (patient’s) credit card information, social security number, home address and more importantly a patient’s medical history.
Why would some random hacker be interested in a patient’s medical history?
Imagine, what if your healthcare app gets hacked and the hacker instructs you (pretending himself to be your doctor) to take a harmful dose of medication, apart from stealing your credit card number, social security number, your medical history, and even your home address. Yes, I know it sounds terrible, but it is very much possible. Although the mobile technology has reduced the number of visits to the clinic, it has unnecessarily opened new gates of security concerns for patients. The record shows that the healthcare industry is struggling to protect its patients’ when in comes to patient’s online security. Over 29.3 million patient health records have been compromised since year 2009.
Healthcare industry must adopt very strong encryption in healthcare apps to win back patient’s trust, until then patients must think twice before using any healthcare app.