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Twenty-seven healthcare leaders joined the conversation on cyber security issues in the health sector. The program was opened by Dr V K Singh, MD InnovatioCuris with three eminent panelists, Dr Arvind Lal, Dr Harish Pillai and Lt Gen Dr. Rajesh Pant. Dr Sandeep Bhalla, Director (Training) PHFI and Mr Sachin Gaur, Director, InnovatioCuris presented the course curriculum and invited feedback and inputs from the experts on the initiative. Below is a short summary of the expert opinion on the topic.

Dr Arvind Lal, MD, Lal Path Labs said, “We live in an Interconnected age. He mentioned three important points, the threat of ransomware is experienced regularly by the health sector. Second point was about patient data. How that the data is being traded in the black market. With Digital India enabling healthcare at last mile the threat to patient data is more real. The third issue is the connected healthcare, in terms of the medical devices and the healthcare would remain as the prime target for hackers. Ultimately it comes down to people and processes to keep this patient data absolutely secure. A comprehensive security awareness program can help healthcare facilities combat many of the security concerns discussed today. With the right resources and support from leadership security awareness training can teach the facility staff how to identify, how to avoid and how to report the hacking attack takes place.

Dr Harish Pillai, Group CEO, Aster DM Healthcare, shared his viewpoints, an extract of that is as follows: “COVID has led to healthcare providers jump to the bandwagon of telehealth without due diligence or due process in selection of the vendor, hardware and other components. But it is a change whose time has come. He seconded the view point of Dr Arvind Lal on patient data protection. Dr Pillai foresees that a lawsuit on breach of data privacy might open eyes of people in future, if the topic is not taken seriously. He highlighted cyber security issues arising in telemedicine, medical devices, home care and in general with the adoption of digital health. He suggested having mission mode task force to take up the issues of cyber security is need of the hour. The training program on cyber security as per him will go long way in safeguarding the health sector.

Lt Gen Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Coordinator, India, responded to both the panelists by saying that data security topic is very important and the pending bill of Personal Data Protection Act in the parliament is going to be a big step in this direction providing a regulatory framework for improved security of citizen’s data. Also, the mission task force headed by him has produced the national cyber strategy this year. Health sector has been neglected as per him in past but COVID-19 has shown us how every component of economy is dependent on health sector. COVID-19 has also created an atmosphere of fear and the uncertainty which is breeding ground for cyber crime.

He shared specific advice to healthcare providers which is as follows:

  • To have a dedicated Chief Information Security Officer, with two separate cells for IT and other on cyber security. So, that implementation and testing is not done by the same people.
  • Allocate budget for cyber security, which is 10% of the IT budget

He concluded with three hard facts:

  1. Vulnerabilities will continue to exist
  2. Cyber-attacks will continue to happen
  3. Attribution of these attacks will be difficult

Hence, similar to physical hygiene for COVID-19, cyber hygiene also gets utmost importance for the health sector! Cyber hygiene as per him covers a variety of measures like stronger passwords to a good cyber security policy in an organisation.

Apart from the panelists, valuable inputs were added by thoughtleaders and dignitaries from NHSRC, NABH, IIM, State governments, PSU’s, corporate hospitals.

Guest list Name Designation and Organisation
1 Hony Brig Dr. Arvind Lal Chairman and Managing Director of Dr. Lal Path Labs
2 Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Rajesh Pant National Cyber security coordinator, Government of India
3 Dr. Harsh Pillai Group CEO, Aster DM healthcare
4 Mr. Munender Soperna CIO, Dr. Lal Path Labs
5 Ms. Rashmi Pimple Director, Life sciences, Research & Innovation Circle Hydrabad (RICH)
6 Col. Satyendra Verma Director, Xscale
7 Dr. Partha Dey Independent Consultant
8 Dr. J.N. Srivastava Advisor, Quality improvement, NHSRC
9 Dr. Sangeeta Sharma Professor & Head of Neuropsychopharmacology, IHBAS
10 Mr. Satish Kumar Kapoor Chief Quality officer, Indraprastha Apollo hospitals
11 Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Singh CMS, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences Kochi
12 Dr. Suneela garg Director Professor HAG, Ex Head (CM) Sub Dean, MAMC& Head Community Medicine, FMS
13 Dr. B.K Behera Senior Specialist, Medicine, Corporate Medical Cell ,NTPC Ltd
14 Dr. Rajesh Chandwani Faculty, Human Resource Management Area
Chairperson, Centre for Management of Health Services (CMHS)
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
15 Dr. Atul Mohan Kochhar CEO, National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH)
16 Dr. Kamla Fartyal General Manager(Medical Services), NHPC
17 Dr. Kartik Shah State Quality assurance officer, Government of Gujarat
18 Dr. Sandeep Bhalla Director (Training), Training division, PHFI
19 Dr. Anuradha Aggarwal Monga Program manager, Training division, PHFI
20 Dr. Vasudha  Kalra Sharma Program Coordinator, Training division, PHFI
21 Surgeon R Admiral Dr. V K Singh MD, InnovatioCuris
22 Mr. Sachin Gaur Director, InnovatioCuris
23 Dr. Pushkar Kumar Senior Public Health Specialist, Training division, PHFI
24 Mr. Prashant Singh Director, Coordination and Strategy Development, PHFI
25 Mr. Clarion InnovatioCuris
27 Mr. Dhruv Singh InnovatioCuris

Report by Sachin Gaur, InnovatioCuris

InnoHEALTH Magazine

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