Medical Security – 4.5 MILLION people hacked


 When it comes to security breaches (aka hacks) most people think about financial information, passwords, or other personal information such as birth date, address, etc. Unfortunately another threat exists in today’s electronic world- personal health information. Now that most doctors and hospitals are entering our medical information into computers and forwarding it to insurance companies, pharmacies, or other 3rd parties, our personal medical information becomes extremely vulnerable.

Just today Reuters reported that personal medical information of 4.5 million people was hacked. Every physical ailment you went to a doctor for, every prescription, your height, weight, blood results, medical history, dental records, eye exams, x-rays/scans, EVERYTHING may be at risk.

I was recently at a social event hosted by a family practitioner who owns a large practice in the area and asked her about her security and what precautions she had taken. Since everything is 100% electronic in her office she needed insurance to help out financially if her data was hacked or system crashed. A condition of the insurance was she needed to hire an independent security firm to review her system, identify and report any vulnerabilities and she had to produce and implement an ‘Action Plan’ before the coverage would go into effect (at an out of pocket cost of $7,500). In addition, she backs up her files and brings home a copy each and every night in case of disaster. While this sounds like a lot of work and additional expense this is the kind of behavior I would expect from EVERYONE who has access to my personal medical information. Is this too much to ask? (coincidentally she also mentioned her server was pinged from China but denied access)

Two other articles about BlackBerry/QNX came to mind which are further proof John Chen is leagues ahead of everyone else when it comes to medical security and strategy. The first was concerning how QNX has released an OS for securing medical devices as it appears medical devices are easy to hack. The other concerns a native BlackBerry 10 app which offers security to mobile health applications (think PassPort + NantHealth). Combine this with the security of BES 10 and everyone’s mind should rest at ease.

Given the recent press I think the future looks especially bright for BlackBerry and its’ position in the lucrative mobile health arena.


kayaker co-pilot Tucson, it's a dry heat!

  • Blackjack

    Remember the big recent push for transition to electronic medical records during the Obamacare stuff? Why? To lower health care costs? No so that your records will no longer be hidden from the government.

    • razrrob


      I’m actually more paranoid about some pimply faced kid crashing a hospital system while poking around for information. Afterwards we’ll read something about the former CIO having gone with iPads and iPhones cos ‘it’s what the people wanted’…

  • BB Racer !!

    Wait when this medical instagram joke of an App catches on :

    • razrrob

      The image is for teaching purposes only- it is not approved for use by Health Care Professionals to treat patients

      That’s a really scary thought…

  • BB Racer !! is the medical instagram and will not share your personal information as the CEO says ( paraphrasing ) ” we have strict controls “…….Ah Ah heard that before …then he is asked what’s your business model he responds ( paraphrasing ) ” we collect data ” …..Ah Ah I heard that before !!

    This does not even come close to the secure multi channel communications of the BlackBerry / NANThealth partnership ….not even close !!

    Figure1 CEO interview on CBC Tv :

    • razrrob

      The app has not been approved by Health Canada, the FDA, or EMEA for diagnostic purposes. It is basically for teaching/educational purposes only. Any Health Care Practitioner that makes a diagnosis off of this app is risking litigation if a patient has a problem.

  • Anthony

    These medical records might show Gellar once paid a visit to Emergency to remove an iPhone from his ass. =))

  • Tracmila

    Hacking seems to be out of control lately. Wonder what the new world order has planned for us next. What liberties are they going to take away. I’m not to clued up on servers and BES10. Can BES10 stop hackers hacking your server or just the device’s?