10 Feb 2021

MedTech Wednesday: cybercrime threats and medical imaging innovation

MedTech Wednesday is our weekly check-in here at Spreckley, where we share all the most interesting and useful healthcare innovation and health technology news and trends.

This week, we look at the latest cybercrime and cybersecurity threats to digital healthcare in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to news on a new medical imaging tech from UK-company Sonosine that promises to revolutionise scans for millions worldwide.

Patient records for sale on dark web

Healthcare IT News reports this week that tens of thousands of patient records have been posted to the dark web.

“Hackers have published extensive patient data from Leon Medical Centers in Miami and Nocona General Hospital in Texas in an apparent extortion attempt,” reads the report.

“The tens of thousands of files reportedly include patients’ names, addresses and birthdays, in addition to their medical diagnoses.”

Tony Goulding, cybersecurity evangelist at the security vendor Centrify noted that: “Many hackers recognize the potential value of health data on the dark web, potentially upward of $1,000 per record in the current climate.”

Ransomware cybercrime tsunami

“Beware the ever-evolving ransomware cybercrime tsunami,” screams a news headline from this week, as cyber security expert Davey Winder explains more about why cyber criminals are looking towards tailored attacks.

“Healthcare is under attack and the instigators are gangs of ransomware-wielding criminals. Rapidly evolving attack methodologies and the ongoing pandemic are creating something of a perfect storm, a veritable crime-tsunami targeting the most at risk people at the worst possible time.

“Ransomware remains the biggest global cyber threat to healthcare, according to research from security vendor Check Point. From November onwards, the researchers say, the number of attacks targeting healthcare have grown by 45%.

“To put that into some perspective, Check Point says this equates to more than double the increase in cyber-attacks across all global industry sectors in the same period. The motivation is easy to understand: these criminal operators are looking for the biggest profit in the shortest timescale, and healthcare providers under the pandemic makes for the perfect target.”

New scanning tech revolutionises medical imaging

Finally this week, Med-Tech Innovation reports on a new medical imaging technology that promises to revolutionise scans for millions of patients worldwide.

The new medical imaging technology from UK-based deep tech company Sonosine will “provide advanced medical imaging, comparable to MRI and CT scans, at a similar cost to an ultrasound scan,” according to the report. “The aim is to enable a more cost-effective, accurate and flexible way of characterising tissue for monitoring, diagnosis and treatment than any other medical device on the global market.

“Sonosine, spun out of the University of Oxford in 2015, has patented the Electro Magnetic Acoustic imaging (EMA) technology, embedded in its first product the Pulsar 1. The Pulsar 1 uses EMA technology, to make high-quality medical diagnostics quicker, safer and more comfortable for patients, while providing clinicians with reliable images that enable the best decision making.”