Health Technology, Digital Healthcare
Article | September 7, 2023
The healthcare industry has become a prime target for cybercriminals in recent times.
According to The State of Ransomware in Healthcare 2023 report from Sophos, six in 10 healthcare organizations have been hit by ransomware in the last 12 months, up from 34% in 2021.
Among this uptick have been several headline-grabbing attacks. For example, Shields Health Care Group became the subject of the single-largest breach affecting any organization globally in April 2023, when 2.3 million patients of the Massachusetts-based medical services provider had their personal data stolen after a cybercriminal gained unauthorized access to the organization’s systems.
Meanwhile, in the UK, a ransomware attack on the University of Manchester occurred in June, affecting an NHS patient data set holding information on 1.1 million patients across 200 hospitals.
Critically, the wealth of data housed in healthcare networks, and the potential impact of data unavailability in healthcare, make the industry both attractive and lucrative to threat actors.
It’s no coincidence that the Sophos report shows the rate of encryption in the healthcare sector is at its highest level in recent years. Of those healthcare organizations which suffered a ransomware attack in 2023, 73% had their data encrypted – up from 61% in 2022. When cybercriminals can successfully take down hospital systems and/or encrypt patient data so it can’t be used, they can blackmail health service providers, demanding significant sums before reinstating systems and/or data availability.
Considering healthcare's critical role as the highest-stake industry in our society, where people's lives depend on its success, the likelihood of attackers achieving their goals is greater than in other sectors, as confirmed by the Sophos report. Indeed, of the 73% of healthcare organizations that had their data encrypted, 42% reported that they paid the requested ransom to recover data.
DSPT and the compliance burden
Without question, the security-related challenges in healthcare are mounting. Right now, industry organizations are operating against a backdrop of unprecedented operational and workforce pressures, spiralling demand for care and industrial action.
Moreover, there is a growing regulatory burden, with organizations continually asked to comply with evolving cybersecurity rules, battling with multiple compliance mandates at any given time.
Take the NHS as an example. According to the 2023 NHS Providers’ Regulation Survey, just over half (52%) of respondents said the regulatory burden on their trust had increased. And this is expected to ramp up further in the future, with the UK government setting out a new 2030 strategy aimed at bolstering cyber resilience in healthcare.
Among the compliance burdens that the NHS faces is the challenge of meeting the requirements of the newly updated Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT).
Mandated to minimize cyber risks and enable healthcare providers to maintain a robust information security posture, the DSPT is not a simple checklist of security controls, but a comprehensive toolkit to evaluate current security maturity and establish a risk management programme.
Indeed, in more recent times, DSPT has moved away from being a guide for achieving certain levels of assurance, and toward a mandatory evidence-based system which demands NHS organizations align with 10 precise National Data Guardian (NDG) standards: 1. The organization assures good management and maintenance of identity and access control for its networks and information systems. 2. The organization closely manages privileged user access to networks and information systems supporting essential services. 3. The organization ensures passwords are suitable for the information being protected. 4. Process reviews are held at least once a year where data security is put at risk and following security incidents. 5. Action is taken to address problems as a result of feedback at meetings. 6. All user devices are subject to anti-virus protections, while email services benefit from spam filtering and protection deployed at the corporate gateway. 7. Action is taken on known vulnerabilities based on advice from NHS Digital, and lessons are learned from previous incidents and near misses. 8. The organization has a defined, planned and communicated response to data security incidents impacting sensitive information or key operational services. 9. The organization has demonstrable confidence in the effectiveness of the security of technology, people, and processes relevant to essential services. 10. The organization securely configures the network and information systems that support the delivery of essential services.
Reducing Compliance Challenges with the Right Solutions
Taken individually, these standards may not seem too strenuous to adhere to. However, to be compliant with DSPT, all 10 items need to be completed and deemed ‘satisfactory’.
To tick all 10 key boxes in the most effective and efficient manner simultaneously, organizations should consider their strategy carefully. This could involve embracing supportive tools to accelerate and enhance their compliance journey.
Boiled down, DSPT demands several key things, including unincumbered visibility of the entire ecosystem, as well as the ability to demonstrate secure access, logs and storage, and essential auditing processes to maintain data security.
Achieving these things might appear complicated, even daunting. However, there are solutions known as Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems on the market that can make achieving these capabilities, and in turn DSPT compliance, easy.
Here, we outline some of the key features to look out for to meet compliance: • Log retention: A modern SIEM should be able to provide a centralized log storage and big data platform that scales to any organization’s size. Platforms should be able to provide role-based access to log data, including ‘data privacy’ functionality that can mask sensitive data until approved. Log data should not be modified or removed by users once ingested into the platform, while all data held should also be indexed and fully searchable. • Identifying and disabling unnecessary accounts: A good SIEM will also provide account auditing facilities for Active Directory that allow administrators to quickly identify dormant accounts. They should also be able to remove privileged user access when no longer required or appropriate. More sophisticated platforms will be able to do this in an automated manner. • Easy identification of issues: Clear and easily readable dashboards, alerts and reports for user logging activity should be provided, including failed login, apparent brute-force attempts, and bad password management practices. Further, those using machine learning will be able to identify unusual behavior patterns based on a baseline of activities of users and their peer group. • Integrate with third-party threat feeds: It will also be able to integrate with a wide variety of third-party threat feeds that provide information about specific known threat payloads/hashes and destination domains/addresses.
Meeting the mandate
Of course, having the right features in place is only part of the puzzle. For organizations to be truly successful in embracing tools that enable them to meet DSPT compliance more effectively, they should work to ensure that solutions providers offer them ongoing support – both in terms of ease of deployment and to ensure that they are using key systems in an optimal manner.
Scalability is another important aspect to consider.
Systems should be able to scale and continue to support the organization as data volumes increase and become more complex over time.
In respect of scalability, organizations should take time to think about pricing models, ensuring that these are based on the number of devices (nodes). In doing so, it will become easier to accurately budget future costs, as well as provide greater budgeting certainty over the short, medium and longer term.
A converged SIEM allows organizations to prioritize the big picture over individual tools, enabling them to develop a seamless and easy to use security operations setup. Not only does this approach boost cost transparency and eliminate potential complexities with managing a variety of siloed products – equally, it reduces the burdens on security teams, eliminating complexities over system integration and enhancing performance.
A converged SIEM combines key technologies easily to offer improved security outcomes. In doing so, organizations can easily home in on specific standards and adopt security best practices while reducing the burden on security teams tasked with meeting DSPT compliance.
Health Technology, AI
Article | July 18, 2023
Within the last two years, the healthcare industry saw an influx in patient care as COVID-19 swept through communities across the globe. The widespread shortage of patient care tools, personal protective equipment (PPE), and medical technology amid the pandemic led to an exponential rise in health expenditures and demand for essential supplies.
In response to the medical demand-supply imbalance, the governments of numerous countries increased their medical care expenditures to counter the challenges of patient care equipment shortages. For instance, according to the National Healthcare Expenditure Data, federal government spending on healthcare and medical care grew by 36% in 2020 and is estimated to reach US$ 6.2 trillion by 2028 in the U.S.
Despite the rise in medical budget allocations, medical facilities are still facing difficulties obtaining enough supplies with the growing prevalence of numerous chronic, infectious, and hereditary diseases. As a result, organizations are focusing on deploying innovative solutions, such as healthcare supply chain management software, to keep track of inventory, procurement, logistics, and others and strengthen their supply chain.
Healthcare Supply Chain Management Solutions: Key Types
Healthcare systems, hospitals, and other patient care sites require a broad array of supplies to perform diagnosis and treatment, from masks and gloves to catheters and implants. Inadequate supplies coupled with inflation is making supply chain management a crucial but complex component in providing optimal patient care across the healthcare industry. This has shed more light on the role of supply chain management in saving lives.
Effective supply chains help various regulatory agencies, including medical goods manufacturers and insurance companies, deliver essential supplies, resources, technologies, and other patient care goods to healthcare establishments. Supply chain management solutions are thus garnering massive traction among healthcare organizations for simplifying and automating manual supply chain and logistics operations.
Let’s have a look at the types of supply chain management software that assist healthcare organizations to optimize their supply chain processes
Inventory Management Software
Efficient medical inventory management is critical for the running of healthcare organizations. The software provides real-time inventory tracking, assisting organizations in closely monitoring inventory changes, avoiding shortages of both low-value and high-use patient care items, decreasing the wait time for access to medical supplies, and reducing the chances of late delivery.
Order Management Software
It is crucial for healthcare establishments to have an estimate of the demand and supply of goods to prevent shortages. Order management software enables these organizations to coordinate supply chain demand planning and forecasting. It also assists in streamlining warehouse operations, resulting in faster and more accurate order placement.
Sourcing and Procurement Software
By tapping into the power of sourcing and procurement solutions, healthcare organizations can develop robust sourcing processes and automate, streamline, and optimize their entire procurement processes. The software also assists establishments in improving their supply inventory levels, identifying the best supplier, and reducing their overall purchasing cost.
Shipping and Tracking Software
Shipping and tracking software assist in the planning and execution of the physical movement of goods. These solutions are primarily used by medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers during the delivery or relocation of patient care goods. The integration of these solutions enables organizations to track and manage numerous batches of goods in transit.
The Bottom Line
Growing competition, healthcare regulations, shipping costs, and increased logistics requirements from medical institutions have complicated the supply chain management processes. As a result, life-science companies are investing in cutting-edge supply chain management solutions to reduce numerous errors, improve logistics, and eliminate unnecessary costs spent to fix them.
Thus, several companies are now emphasizing the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence and data analytics, into healthcare supply chain management software to reap benefits such as process automation, streamlined inventory, reduced waste, improved decision-making, and lower labor, supply, and operational costs.
Health Technology, Digital Healthcare
Article | September 8, 2023
Affordable healthcare is the need of the hour and interoperability is the means to that end. The healthcare ecosystem is looking into ways they can enable this affordability as soon as possible, and that is where FHIR comes in. FHR promises an on-demand exchange of secure healthcare information. It has become an increasingly popular protocol, thanks to its commitment to ensuring interoperability in the app economy, via apps.
The privilege enjoyed by consumers and participants in most industries is the ease of accessibility of information. With most of it being on the cloud, a URL ensures access to the same information regardless of where it is being accessed from or which internet enable device. This is the privilege FHIR aims to introduce in healthcare, over the current document-based approach where forms are either faxed, emailed, or electronically exchanged.
FHIR is for
Building new healthcare apps
Develop cloud-based health apps that integrate with social networks
Providing a simple to use standards-based API for cloud-based health integration services
The government looking to implement a national EHR
FHIR Aims to Reduce Cost
The medical expenses of an average American in a year are north of $12k and rising. The reasons are the unnecessary complications in the healthcare IT infrastructure. With FHIR, HL7 aims to reduce the burden on providers in sharing and accessing healthcare data at the point of care, thereby reducing the administrative expenses spent on moving data back and forth. It also promises to grant on-demand access to patients – enabling them to make better-informed healthcare decisions.
What is part of FHIR?
Pre-defined Resources and API
A common way to represent data as building blocks and rules for connecting them
Target support for common scenarios
Familiar tooling and technologies using web standards
Multiple Libraries available for faster implementations
Concise and easily understood specifications, RESTful API and JSON
Leverages cross-industry web technologies
Thick client, browser, or mobile devices
Supports human readability as the base level of interoperability
Large Community for Support
Heaps of open-source software and training events, webinars, and connectathons
Specification feedback welcomed, including update requests-tracker
Base resources can be used as it is, can also be adapted for local requirements
Seamless exchange of information using messages or document
Start The FHIR
Health plans are jumping on the FHIR bandwagon faster than ever thanks to the Interoperability and Patient Access rule as well as the latest proposals. Do not get left behind or sustain the ramifications of non-compliance with CMS regulations.
Article | February 26, 2021
Worried about how to improve your healthcare sales? Wondering where to begin? Of course, these questions demand genuine consideration. Healthcare professionals are some of the most valuable and vital members of the societiy. And you will have to take care of their unique needs if you want to sell your products to them.
Over the years, selling in most of the industries has changed; the healthcare industry is no exception. The healthcare industry has been booming over the last decade. The boom has increased the necessity of managing patient care and innovating medicines exponentially. To cater to such rising needs, newer technologies are being adopted by the industry.
Flatiron Health, a well-known healthcare technology and service provider, is using data analytics to tackle cancer. They believe that the technology industry is essential to solve healthcare issues. This New York-based start-up uses its cloud-based software platform and big data to connect to various cancer centers across the country. The key asset of the company is its ability to use data analytics to make meaningful recommendations. The annual revenue of Flatiron Health is US$100-500 million. Yes! you read it right.
So, all you need is to have a smart healthcare sales and marketing strategy. Having an effective strategy will help you conquer the healthcare industry and increase your profit margin. One of the easy ways to increase your healthcare IT sales is to have a firm understanding of the ohospital's organizational structure Apart from that, you can analyze the organization by asking the following questions:
• How does this particular healthcare organization compare with its competitors in this
• What is their current position in the industry?
• What makes them stand out from their competitors?
• What makes them unique?
Just like the tips mentioned above, this article is all about tips and strategies to increase your healthcare sales leads. These tips will undoubtedly help you skyrocket your healthcare technology sales by reaching out to a wider audience.
Attract Your Target Audience with Content Marketing
Healthcare is always been trending on search engines through relevant keywords. People search for a related term like healthcare and wellness tips, local medical professionals and medical facilities, and jobs in healthcare.
• One in every 20 searches is related to healthcare
• 70% of visitors of hospital websites come from organic web search
• 77% of all online health queries begin with a search
So, using content marketing to attract audience is the best way to increase healthcare sales. Offering healthcare and wellness information through different online channels will help you improve your credibility and visibility. This step will strengthen the relationship between staff, patients, prospective employees, and the community and increase credibility. According to CMI B2B Content Marketing Report, 2019, 62% of B2B marketers said that they were more successful with content marketing than ever before.
The healthcare technology industry is technical, and it can be highly challeging when you sell the product directly to high-level executives or physicians. So, you must invest time to create compelling content like blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, etc. It will increase your healthcare sales as this content will establish your expertise. So, all you need to do is generate informative and appealing content to position your company as an authentic thought leader, which will help you land more healthcare sales.
Understand your Customer Better and Build Trust
You cannot imagine a society without healthcare professionals. Obviously, you will have to go out of your way to have a deep understanding of their requirements if you want to sell technology to them.
Requirements of each of your clients in the healthcare industry can vary. Hence a ‘one size fits all’ approach will not help when it comes to offering the best experience to every customer. Thus, it would help if you adapted to customer needs for successful healthcare sales. Furthermore, it is essential to realize that healthcare customers are different from other business professionals.
Don’t beat around the bush when you get a chance to talk to them. Directly give them information on what they are looking for, staying respectful and professional. This will help you grab attention and generate interest.. Be flexible despite the odds and do whatever possible to solve their problems.
Prioritize trust-building at all times. In any sales process, trust is a decisive factor, especially in healthcare sales. The reason for this is that if you are selling medical equipment, technologies, or pharmaceuticals, your clients are risking the well-being of their patients in your hands. So, to pull up the healthcare sales game, work on building up a strong relationship and trust with your clients.
Know the Buyer’s Organizational Chart
Unlike working with a small clinic with a single decision-maker, you need to deal with a purchasing department or a buying group when you sell to a big hospital. To ensure that you do not miss anybody, you may have to map out your client’s purchasing hierarchy and identify everyone in the hospital involved in the process. In the healthcare industry, every single client has a very different purchasing style.
You can obtain this information from your known contacts and network within the organization. Knowing the organizational chart of your clients will help you expand your influence with in he organization and boost your healthcare sales.
Focus on Your Client’s Customers
Even for most effective sales organizations, it is remarkably challenging to sell to a client-driven and continually emerging industry like healthcare. However, if you make it through this competitive industry, you will have endless opportunities to add to your profits through successful healthcare sales.
When dealing with a service-based industry, the best strategy is to serve your clients’ customers. Essentially, if you find a practical way to improve their experience, your clients will be happy and you can establish a long-lasting relation with them.
Whenever you deal with a client from the healthcare industry, remember to focus on the actual patients. This strategic line of thought can surely bring you more healthcare sales and increase your annual profit.
Get Started with Social Media Marketing
This is fairly obvious that, in the modern world, social media has become a part of the everyday. There is no easier way to increase your client numbers than to promote your product or service on a platform that everyone uses.
Facebook is the best social media platform. Mainly because senior people use it as they are likely to require medical assistance. A Facebook page is the best place for you to start with your social media advertising. It is an informational source that can increase the targeted traffic coming to your website.
Due to the easy availability of information online, medical professionals do not depend upon salespeople. Instead, they do online research before making a purchase decision. Social media marketing can help you increase healthcare sales and be on the top at all times.
Rapidly evolving regulatory forces, market dynamics, and consumer demands are constantly adding to the healthcare industry's complexity. Driving meaningful patient action and true engagement through your innovative sales and marketing solutions will increase your healthcare sales. This will also make you stand out from the rest of the pack, ending in a long-term relationship with all your customers.
Ace your healthcare sales with these strategies and tips. Reach out to us if you are looking for any assistance. We at Media 7 provide all the B2B healthcare sales and marketing solutions. We focus on bringing in potential clients to your business platforms, converting them, and making them your happy customers forever. To know more about us, visit: https://media7.com
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a healthcare marketing strategy?
Healthcare marketing strategy is usually an inbound marketing process. We bring forth all the resources that could bear against various threats and opportunities in a highly competitive healthcare business through the process.
Why is healthcare marketing important?
For the sustainable growth of the healthcare industry, healthcare marketing is very important and an integral part. Marketing of healthcare technologies and other new facilities in line with treatment is very important for the transformation of the industry.
What is healthcare sales?
The process of persuading healthcare clients and making them buy your products is healthcare sales. In the process, you will sell drugs, medicines, equipment, and technologies to healthcare clients.
How can healthcare professionals drive sales?
Focusing on your client’s customer is an innovative strategy for sales in healthcare. A healthcare professional is likely to buy your product if you prove that your product can make their patients' lives easier.