Technology and medicine always form the best of teams, and the invention and application of new technologies capable of contributing to health care, such as the pacemaker and the glucose meter, are examples of this. For this reason, developments in this field never stop, prompting experts dedicated to the study of new technologies to announce the arrival of major technological advances and their implications for the medicine of the future.
The risks of technological advances in the medicine of the future
Day by day it is becoming more common that every company has access to customer data, such as name, ID, address and even know what their tastes and hobbies are. But is there a limit to privacy in the medicine of the future? Regarding this question, health futurist Joe Flower, comments that in a few years there will be devices to collect data on patients’ health and they will be able to send that information to the health system’s databases.
Flower has explored the future of health care at the World Health Organization and has also studied the U.S. and Colombian health systems. Thus, at the VI International Forum on Medical Devices held in Colombia, the expert spoke about the use of Artificial Intelligence and privacy in the field of healthcare.
“Mirrors that by detecting your face and movement can determine your physical and mental state and send a report to your doctor, insurer or employer will be a reality in the future, this may be a not so positive thing because maybe we will want to be in control of our information. We will be surrounded by new ways to find out what is going on with our bodies, which poses great possibilities, but also some downsides like your employer finding out you have a physical problem or finding out you are pregnant before you even know it. These are possibilities in this information future.”
In addition, Flower commented that when talking about big data and AI, it is that they do not require timely patient identification. With AI, a doctor could find cases similar to his patient’s from a multitude of medical records. But for this to be possible, a very good information system is required, and these records must be anonymous and correct.
“There are scary things about the thought of medical information being uploaded to the cloud, but there are many conditions where it is helpful.”
For his part, Camilo Gutiérrez, head of ESET’s research laboratory in Latin America, stated that:
“Internet-connected healthcare devices have the risk that they could be hijacked by a cybercriminal to do harm.”
The above statement was set forth by him with respect to what happened in August 2017. The FDA, a U.S. government entity, had to order the recall of half a million step marks that had security holes, which could undoubtedly be exploited by a hacker in order to modify their operation.
Gutiérrez commented that:
“This should not generate panic, but rather awareness of the challenges that the medicine of the futureholds.