Science and Medicine

Panacea: the European project dedicated to Cybersecurity in hospitals

22 January 2019 | Written by La redazione

The world of medicine is becoming more and more technological: on the horizon new opportunities but also numerous risks to face

Artificial intelligence for diagnosis, remote medical visits, virtual reality for training, augmented reality as a support for surgeons in the operating room, high precision robots that make possible very delicate interventions. These are just some of the applications of new technologies in the medical field: it is precisely the healthcare world that is one of the sectors that is benefiting the most from the innovations introduced in recent years, which offer great opportunities for the future. But be careful not to underestimate the risks: cyber-attacks are a real danger for the operation of hospital facilities and for the privacy of patients. With a Kick off Meeting at the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic Foundation, the European Panacea project has started.

Medicina e sicurezza informatica

The project. Panacea, which is part of the European Framework Program for Research and Innovation “Horizon 2020” and has been financed with five million Euros, will last 36 months and will involve 15 entities between Universities, Institutions and European companies. The project speaks Italian thanks to the coordination of the Catholic University and the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic Foundation. As part of Panacea, a simulation system will be developed for the computer stations in the hospital. “Expert intelligence” will examine this simulation 24 hours a day, to identify any security flaws or weaknesses to reinforce in the real system. In particular, the focus of the project will be dedicated to the Emergency Room, to the radiology of urgency and to the reliability of all the delicate functions of the operating room, areas in which the efficiency and security of the information system are fundamental to guarantee a service of quality, patient health and respect for their privacy.

“In the complex system of “critical” infrastructures – says Daniele Gui, coordinator of the project together with Sabina Magalini, both members of the Emergency Surgery – on which depends the regular civil life and whose loss of function can cause serious damage to our society, has now also entered the health system, further proof of the significance and importance that the right to health has in our societies”.

The data. According to Kroll’s report “Global fraud and risk report 2017/2018” compared to 2016 there was a 9% decrease in cyber threats in healthcare, but hospitals still remain a privileged victim due to a widespread lack of culture, preparation and awareness on cybersecurity. A large majority of healthcare facilities use systems for managing Big Data, Cloud and IoT services, but they would not be adequately protected, causing in fact the violation of sensitive data such as those contained in patient records.

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