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Can medical research pose a threat? If yes, what are the ways to mitigate it?

For years, research has been used to make the field better with different results and analyses. The same is the case with medical research and its field. But here, our question is that does medical research pose a threat to patients? And what are the ways to mitigate it? Our answer to the first question is yes. Why we are saying this, you will be going to know in the below section.

How patients can be affected by medical research?

In an article, Anaesthesia and Analgesia, a special topic was published related to medical research and its threat on patients. Healthcare journals request doctors several times to share data and information about their studies and cases, but this can affect a patient’s anonymity.

  • An attacker can easily find the health records of a patient. Her/his life can be at risk through these publicly posted databases. The biggest disturbance is that it cannot always be prevented through protective measures as there are many examples of medical cases where the patient got severe attacking issues.
  • Before posting any medical research, the research data is de-identified by many scientists and researchers to prevent any identified information in it. But in recent years, even sharing anonymous data has caused many problems. Even the smallest data can make the de-identifiable information into the re-identifiable patient. Studies showed that in the voter registration database, the information could easily identify the real patient.
  • A case study was done in Texas surgical databases in which more than 2.8 million records were used. The researchers found a 42.8% for an adversary to link the patient’s data to health registration databases and get the patient’s highly sensitive information.

What are the ways to mitigate it?

Healthcare should know that breaching outpatient information can cause severe harm to that patient. So they should maintain the proper disclosure by using out several strategies, which are;

  1. Medical experts can create a multidisciplinary team. There should be executive leadership to know security issues and privacy priorities. There should be standardized access and disclosure practices.
  2. Update technology, procedures, policies to conduct periodic assessments of risk factors.
  3. By using the National institute of standards and technology standards, encrypt all the information. Make sure that none of the devices should be misplaced. If so, then inform the Office for the Civil Rights.
  4. By managing the use of technology, you can prevent the transference and leakage of patient’s data. Many applications can monitor and identify the hardware system that is trying to get access to databases. Effective management techniques and privacy control should be promoted.
  5. You can invest in cyber insurance because it will help to mitigate the dangers of the financial risks of breaching medical information.
  6. Providing enterprise education and different training pieces to researchers and medical healthcare can make them realize the importance of confidentiality and how they can try their best not to let the records breach out.

 

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160516091834.htm

https://www.fortherecordmag.com/news/enews_1015_01.shtml