A December 1 article in Bloomberg BNA’s Health Care Daily Report and other publications, “Tech Giants Ride Data Wave Into Health-Care Market,” discussed the development of wearable devices that collect health information and devices connected to hospital systems, and how major technology players like Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft are trying to capitalize on the surge in available electronic health data. Day Pitney’s Eric Fader was quoted in the article.Eric opined that the presence of so many smaller companies manufacturing low-priced wearables makes it unlikely that any of the larger technology companies will be able to build better devices or sell enough of them to make a significant difference to their bottom lines. “I’m also skeptical that any tech company will be able to establish itself as the one accepted platform on which to store the information uploaded from all of these competing devices,” he said.
The increasing collection of healthcare data raises questions regarding regulation, privacy and data security, Eric added, noting that “Although the stakes are higher for any particular individual if it’s a cardiac device or an insulin pump that’s hacked, the increased adoption and interoperability of mass-market consumer devices will significantly increase the risk of data breaches.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees medical devices, has issued several cybersecurity guidance documents, as most recently discussed here, dating back to 2014. The FDA and other agencies will have their hands full trying to ensure that device manufacturers take data privacy and security seriously, Eric concluded.