Protecting privacy has become table stakes in healthcare. Now, organisations must figure out how to responsibly and ethically manage a mass of customer data that is increasing in volume by the minute. If handled properly, this treasure trove of data can be a tool for creating tailored services and building consumer trust.
Healthcare consumers want their data to only go to certain people at certain times. Therefore, it is critical for healthcare organisations to ensure security and privacy is embedded at each stage of the consumer journey. For instance, how do providers prevent hackers from snatching data from an automated insulin pump or wearable fitness monitor? Fitbit took heed of the rising levels of digital distrust and has since achieved compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Others will likely follow suit as expectations for digital trust continue to rise.
More players, greater potential for risk
Ecosystems are expanding the number of potential weak links in the digital chain. Healthcare organisations must manage a variety of new data sources and a wealth of connected devices. Hospitals face rising concern that employee devices may be the weakest link for a hacker to get in. Add to that the influx of consumer-supplied information, which has its inherent vulnerabilities, especially with growing use of digital technologies.
Exposure will continue to increase, so ongoing steps must be taken to protect privacy and security of data and build digital trust. Solid policies and procedures must be in place for governing the ecosystem. Furthermore, those policies must be disclosed and understood to ensure the right consent and access to information.
Apple: Trusted territory
After the consumer outcry from its iCloud breach in 2014, Apple came to understand afresh the importance of trust. Its efforts to be transparent in how it uses and secures customer data is testimony to the value this leading brand places on trust.
Its new platforms, such as Apple Pay and HealthKit, are clear beneficiaries of this trusted-by-design approach because the strong security and ethics that are ”baked in” give customers confidence that their digital footprints are secure and private, easing the transition to and adoption of the Apple ecosystem. This underscores the role trust plays as digitally powered companies look to disrupt their own markets and enter new ones.