Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Growing Cyberattacks on Hospitals May Soon Hit Bottom Lines, Patient Care: Fitch

The increased use of smart monitoring devices, telehealth and other virtual care capabilities are putting patient data at risk, the report said. CT scanners and MRI machines were not necessarily designed with “cyber risk in mind.”

Growing Cyberattacks on Hospitals May Soon Hit Bottom Lines, Patient Care: Fitch

Dive Brief:

  • U.S. hospitals and healthcare systems have been under such relentless cyberattacks in recent months that it is beginning to be a threat to their bottom lines, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.
  • Fitch says the issue has become increasingly serious over the past 18 months, citing data from the firm Bitglass concluding that cyberattacks among healthcare facilities rose 55% last year. Moreover, the rising cyberattacks also resulted in a 16% increase in the average cost of recovering a patient record in 2020 versus 2019.
  • “Attacks may also hinder revenue generation and the ability to recover costs in a timely manner, particularly if they affect a hospital’s ability to bill patients when financial records are compromised or systems become locked,” the report said, adding that patient care may also begin to be impacted.

Dive Insight:

It’s a challenging time for cyberattacks and ransomware hacks for healthcare organizations: More than a third said they were the victim of such an attack last year, and nearly two-thirds said the attacks resulted in being locked out of their own data.

Fitch noted in its report that hospitals and other healthcare providers are desired targets of cybercriminals. “Hospital and health system databases are a treasure trove of critical and sensitive patient data, which are highly sought after by cyber criminals for ransomware and double extortion schemes,” it said.

The COVID-19 pandemic not only ratcheted up the volume of such attacks, but also opportunities for bad actors.

“Remote work for non-essential staff opened up opportunities for infiltration, as did the sector’s increased use of integrated technology, such as smart medical monitoring devices, telehealth and other virtual care capabilities,” the report said. “Software for such devices and heavy medical equipment such as CT scanners and MRI machines are often proprietary and designed with patient care and not necessarily cyber risk in mind.”

Although the phenomenon has been studied in terms of the raw increase in the number of attacks, the Fitch report sends out a bigger warning: It could start costing hospitals not only big financial losses in the coming years — particularly as they grow in breadth and sophistication — but clinical losses as well.

“The recovery time and costs associated with breaches of critical data not only pose significant financial burdens but also hamper the ability of healthcare institutions to provide care, which could ultimately have human costs,” Fitch said.

Seen on MedTech Dive: Article Link

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest News


Dr Ishara Dharmasena, of the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering (MEME), has been appointed a research fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering and awarded funding...


Evidence of the impact on medtech emerged over the summer, when ResMed cited the shortage of semiconductors as a reason it will be unable...

Consumer Empowered Health

Meru Health is a startup that aims to solve a number of the challenges associated with getting access to quality mental health care, with...


The NHS has launched the world’s largest trial for a blood test that can detect 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear.

You May Also Like

Artificial Intelligence

Digital Solutions In Healthcare Plug “digital healthcare solutions” into Google, and the results are clear: digital tools have taken the healthcare industry by storm....


In Delray Beach, Florida, an emerging biopharma company, Cyrano Therapeutics, is planning a clinical trial using approved theophylline via a new intranasal pathway of...

Artificial Intelligence

Joe Mullings discusses the Microbot – Liberty robotic platform with Harel Gadot and how a new category of surgical robotics creates a new entry...

Digital Health

Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) is driving innovation in the HealthTech space and is more popular than ever — completely upending the way...