Top 4 Application Security Issues in Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry is increasingly becoming a promising domain for applications that can help provide better services to patients, while making the job considerably easier for healthcare providers.

A large number of applications utilize Wireless Medical Sensor Networks (WMSNs) for effective communication, efficient practices and patient mobility.

While the integration of WMSNs keeps growing every day in the healthcare sector, applications still face some security issues.

Here we discuss the 4 most prominent WMSN application security issues in the healthcare industry:

#1-Monitoring Patient Vital Signs

The most common application security threats that arise in the healthcare industry have a lot to do with patient confidentiality. If there are no appropriate security protocols in place, an adversary can snoop on patient vital signs through free communication channels. Similarly, if the individuals have a powerful antenna, they can easily pick up on the messages from the network.

#2-Routing Threats

In a multi-hop environment, data packets are forwarded to the base station through multi-hop routing procedures. This comes with its own set of security threats. A malicious code may refuse to forward certain information and it may simply be lost in transit. If the attacker is overtly included in the routing path, this threat could be stronger.

#3-Location Threats

Patient mobility is supported by medical sensor networks so that the location of patients can be identified to reach them on time. Typically, location features are based around radio frequency, received signal strength indicator or ultrasound. If adversaries constantly receive radio signals and are able to identify codes, they could gain direct information that may compromise a patient’s privacy. Of course, someone who is probing information to identify patient location could have even worse intents.

#4-Activity Tracking Threats

Those with malicious intent can also break into patient records when the patient is busy exercising in a health-club. Based on the wireless medical sensor data a hacker could precisely identify the present activity on the patient. Even worse, the hacker could even send over the wrong exercise tips or advise medication that could result in injuries and bodily harm.

As medical sensors are placed on a patient’s body to send over health data like location, heart rate and health feedback to a base station, it might very well be possible for a hacker to alter information which may raise erroneous concerns about the patient’s health.

A well-planned security mechanism with appropriate security testing services in place can help keep the risks of these threats to a minimum. Drop us an email at to learn more about our services.