The adoption of new technologies by NHS hospitals, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, implantable medical devices and personalised medicines based on a person’s genes, has given rise to new challenges in the cyber space and there is a need for greater investment to secure these technologies from cyber attacks, a new white paper has warned.
A new White Paper on NHS Security presented at the House of Lords by Imperial College London's Institute of Global Health Innovation has warned that even as the NHS adopts new technologies, it continues to suffer from a lack of investment, outdated computer systems, and a lack of skilled personnel which is placing NHS hospitals at risk.
Terming the WannaCry attack, that cost the Department of Health and Social Care around £92m to mitigate and address, as "relatively crude and unsophisticated", Professor Lord Ara Darzi at the Institute of Global Health Innovation said that the number and sophistication of cyber attacks on the NHS is rising and therefore, NHS trusts should take steps to secure their systems from emerging threats.
"We are in the midst of a technological revolution that is transforming the way we deliver and receive care. But as we become increasingly reliant on technology in healthcare, we must address the emerging challenges that arise in parallel.
"For the safety of patients, it is critical to ensure that the data, devices and systems that uphold our NHS and therefore our nation’s health are secure," he said.