Representatives Dave Trott (D-MI) and Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced the Internet of Medical Things Resilience Partnership Act in the U.S. House of Representatives recently. With the increase in the number of medical devices and systems that doctors and patients use to handle and store data, they deem it necessary to increase the security and privacy of the collected information as well.
The Internet of Medical Things Resilience Partnership Act aims to create a public-private stakeholder partnership that will develop a cybersecurity framework, which medical device manufacturers and other stakeholders can employ to prevent cyberattacks and healthcare data breaches. The use of technology in the healthcare industry today will only continue to grow. Many people use wearable health devices like blood pressure monitors, pacemakers, ventilators, pedometers and radiological technologies all the more for healthcare purposes and data storage. The problem is that these gadgets are vulnerable to cyber attacks especially without any safeguards in place. Hackers can gain access to stored important personal information. It’s also possible for them to tamper with the function of the devices, take control and use them to hurt patients. Hence, the passing of the Internet of Medical Things Resilience Partnership Act is very important. It will make a big difference in the way healthcare providers can ensure secure medical data management.
In the proposed bill, there will be a working group formed and headed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The group will develop a cybersecurity framework for medical devices, standards, guidelines and best practices. The submission of a written report 18 months after the bill is approved is a required output from the group. The following people and organizations are also expected to be part of the working group:
- Representatives from different government offices including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Hospitals and other health care providers, medical device manufacturers, health insurance providers, software and apps developers, wireless network providers and cloud computing experts.
Together, these people will be doing the healthcare industry a big favor.