As the healthcare industry digitises, security is a growing concern for consumers and businesses alike. Our healthcare data is perhaps the most personal information we have, and every effort needs to be made to keep it secure.
There is broad consensus that using a password to access sensitive information is not robust enough, not to mention inconvenient, which is where healthcare smart cards come in. These smart cards are essentially ‘healthcare passports in your pocket’. Unlike paper documents – which can easily be forged – healthcare smart cards are tamper-proof physical devices that authenticate patients and healthcare professionals.
In this blog we share four breakthrough innovations which are being adopted to secure confidential patient data and future-proof eHealthcare services. And these are not just hypothetical use cases: we’re proud to say that all these innovations have recently been adopted and implemented by Moore4MedicaL (M4M), a consortium of 66 companies, universities and institutes working together to accelerate innovation in emerging medical devices with open technology platforms…
- Quantum-safe cryptography: Across all sectors, there are concerns that quantum computing could introduce new security risks. With quantum computing, encryption that would have previously taken years to break, could now be compromised within minutes. Fortunately, there has been some major innovation happening to combine pre-quantum and post-quantum defence mechanisms in healthcare smart cards. This layer of security will help to protect patient data – even when quantum computing has become more commonplace and is being increasingly weaponised by cybercriminals.
- Fido2 authentication: FIDO2 is a global authentication standard developed by FIDO Alliance, an open industry association focused on reducing the over-reliance on passwords. We’re proud to say that, for the first time, healthcare smartcards are now FIDO2 certified – which means that patients can register and login securely to FIDO2-compliant online services. For M4M, this innovation means patients can now gain secure access to its monitoring data service and get early detection of any health issues.
- Interoperable updates after issuance: Some personal data will naturally change over time (e.g. emergency contacts). Following the introduction of LDS2, electronic documents can now be updated through secure and interoperable access to patient’s data. This is a great example of recent travel industry standards being used in an innovative way to improve healthcare services.
- Security updates after issuance: It is now possible to address future possible threats by updating the electronic documents in a secure way. The M4M healthcare smart cards are demonstrating OS Agility, which means the ability to update the embedded software after the document issuance and enhance the device security.
The future of healthcare services relies on reliable identities, and continual innovation is needed to improve the way we authenticate both patients and healthcare professionals. While M4M is demonstrating best practice in the healthcare sector, it’s important to remember that these features could also benefit many more governments, public authorities, and private entities in civil identity and public security. Cross-collaboration across sectors will help to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.