Healthcare cybersecurity breaches multiply like measles as far away as Singapore. Is it a matter of time before hacking kills someone?

Even if you are the Prime Minister of Singapore, you can be hacked. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong joined 1.5 million of his fellow Singaporeans in what they have termed an unprecedented data breach of SingHealth, considered to be a world model. There are the usual state actor suspects: Russians, Chinese–and North Koreans–starting less than two weeks (27 June) after hosting the meeting between President Donald Trump and Maximum Leader Kim Jong Un. (That is hardly a gracious thank you if it’s them (s/o).  POLITICO Morning eHealth reported on Monday 23 July. 

What’s happened since: Singapore banks have been instructed to tighten data procedures and use additional verification methods. The government believes 1) they are next and 2) that the healthcare breach data could be used to impersonate customer identities. SingHealth records include full name, national identification number, address, gender, race, and date of birth. (ZDNet)

The National (UAE) reported that the hack specifically targeted the PM. Their angle was that Singapore has ambitions to host a ‘smart city’ as does the UAE and testing Singapore means that the UAE may be next. Singapore is covering a different angle–the ‘inside job’ one. They moved to disconnect computers from the internet at public centers which may inconvenience patients and healthcare staff but which weakens data collection for this very busy centralized system. (Reuters) Watch the government press conference here.

Will the next WannaCry or NotPetya kill someone? That is the premise in this article in ZDNet and one we’ve discussed previously. It’s not a targeted attack on a particular life, but could be an infrastructure failure–for instance, an industrial control for electricity that destroys systems including those to dependent homes or hospitals. What this article doesn’t include are all those aging hackable connected devices in operating rooms, hospital rooms, and in-hospital Wi-Fi powering tablets and other connected devices. KRACK can be very wack indeed! [TTA 18 Oct 17]

‘Serving with heart’: two glimpses of innovation in Singapore and Thailand

Probably a first for this Editor is news from Singapore on the healthcare technology and innovation front. The first report comes from Today where Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean advocates for the interesting combination of embracing innovation and ‘serving patients with heart.’ Speaking at the opening of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine’s Clinical Sciences Building in Novena, Mr. Teo talked not only about pathogens and biomedical research but also about remote patient monitoring, tele-consulting, and home-care robots.

From Thailand but addressing the Asia-Pacific market is Caroline Clarke, CEO for Philips Asean Pacific, on the region’s aging population and the outlook to 2050. Asia is home to 60 percent of the world’s over-60 population which is expected to grow from 547 million in 2016 to nearly 1.3 billion by 2050. She noted that the Future Health Index noted that while the benefits of connected care technologies were known in Asia, there was a lack of understanding on how and why to use them to take better care of their health. Philips has opened a regional headquarters in Singapore with advanced innovation facilities, announcing a partnership with EDBI to co-invest in regional digital health companies. The Nation

McKinsey: digital health mythbusters

Readers will find the very readable McKinsey survey of patient attitudes to digital health valuable in helping them determine the best way forward to develop their online services.

The survey covered patients in three very different health services – UK, Germany and Singapore. Principal findings, headlined as five busted myths, were:

Myth: People don’t want to use digital services for healthcare – actually 75% of them (more…)

‘Fashionable safety’ alert device for women

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Out of Singapore is a pretty silver necklace or bracelet that does more than adorn: with the press of its small silver button, it can help the wearer get away from an uncomfortable or harassing situation in a public setting (like the workplace, a bar or party) by sending that ‘nick of time’ fake call to your iPhone by Bluetooth LE. Or if held down for over 3 seconds in an emergency, it sends an SOS text, coordinates and a Google Map link via the phone to designated recipients (not law enforcement.) The Guardian Angel pendant was developed by ad agency JWT Singapore to support AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research) in Singapore through a 10 percent per unit donation, and is available at local retailer My Room Retail or internationally via their website for US$120 (UK£71) plus shipping, handling and optional bracelets. What isn’t clear is if a smartphone is needed–the website indicates that an app must be downloaded from the Apple AppStore but the Daily Mail article says it works with any phone. Also PSFK review, ABC (US) News. What’s a little disappointing is that the first function (‘get me away from this creep’ self-call) is being more widely touted than the second (‘the creep is coming after me with handcuffs, and he’s not a cop’ SOS). This Editor also wonders how reachable the necklace in particular would be in a truly dangerous situation. But it is certainly better than the alternative. Hat tip to Editor Toni Bunting.

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”120″ /]In TTA 6 March we covered another ‘fashionable safety’ item, the First Sign hair clip, which is more violent crime deterrence and recording-oriented. It senses impact and sends audio/video/GPS location to monitors plus designated recipients along with a pre-recorded announcement that it is gathering evidence. It succeeded in its Indiegogo financing round and is available for pre-order here for estimated November delivery at $50-75 plus monitoring. But so far, fashion hasn’t made its way into the maddeningly institutional PERS design (though Chubb has given it a whirl with its Glasgow competition recently.)