In the digital healthcare market, telecommunications companies can position themselves as long-term partners of healthcare providers, offering end-to-end solutions from connectivity to managed services. In particular, data security and patient information regulations are a critical consideration for digital health solutions and can be an obstacle to digital health adoption.
Cyber attacks are increasing with the integration of digital health solutions that digitize patient information and digitally connect medical devices. In addition, patient data is highly sensitive and regulated to ensure security, data protection and, in many cases, specific requirements for data exchange and data residency. Therefore, the security of patient data is of paramount importance to healthcare providers.
Ransomware attacks on health information were particularly widespread. A recent example is a ransomware attack on the Irish health system, the Health Service Executive (HSE), in May 2021. The attack cost nearly $ 20 million as health data threatened to be released. The cyber attack resulted in delayed and canceled appointments and procedures as well as significant costs for the HSE as it responds to the attack and rebuilds its systems.
Telecommunications companies can position themselves as reputable digital health partners to ensure that data protection and security requirements are met, for example by providing secure connectivity, localized and secure data center and cloud services, and cybersecurity solutions.
In addition, digital health players need to ensure that their solutions comply with data protection laws in the countries in which they operate.
Countries protect their patient data through regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (HIPAA), U.S. medical data privacy and security legislation, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU Data Protection Regulation, and privacy of residents of the EU and the European Economic Area. In addition, regulations have been put in place to ensure the security and interoperability of patient data exchange as patient data exchange between healthcare providers, patients and digital healthcare providers has become an integral part of digital healthcare solutions. For example, the European Commission has introduced an electronic health record exchange format (EHRs) that allows patients to access and exchange their medical records from any EU country.
Germany has passed the Hospital Futures Act, which aims to fuel hospital digitization efforts while emphasizing cybersecurity. In January 2021, the Federal Ministry of Health launched the Hospital Futures Act, which provides a total of 4.3 billion euros for the digitization of hospitals. To reduce the risk of cyber attacks, hospitals must spend 15% on IT security in order to gain access to finance. In response, Deutsche Telekom has positioned itself as a partner of hospitals to develop a plan with its solutions that meets the IT security requirements of the law in order to obtain funding.
Therefore, GlobalData estimates the global healthcare security market at USD 5.0 billion in 2021 and will grow at an annual growth rate of 9.2% in 2021 to 2024 to USD 6.5 billion in 2024.