Special Issue "Cybersecurity and the Digital Health: An Investigation on the State of the Art and the Position of the Actors"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "TeleHealth and Digital Healthcare".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Daniele Giansanti
Website
Guest Editor
Centro TISP, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, The Italian National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy
Interests: Telemedicine and e-Health; mobile health; domotics; digital health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The strong demand for health data by cybercrime exposes hospital structures in particular to IT risks. The greater connectivity to existing IT networks has in fact exposed Administrations to new IT security vulnerabilities, as healthcare is an extremely interesting target for cybercrime for two fundamental reasons: on the one hand, it is a source rich in valuable data and on the other, very often, the defenses are weak. Data breach violations can be caused by accidental events (e.g., loss of a USB stick or unregulated access to data) or malicious, and can result in the theft of health information, attacks of ransomware to hospitals, denial of service attacks and attacks on implanted medical devices (such as pace-makers  or artificial pancreas) which can reduce patient confidence, paralyze health systems and threaten human life. Ultimately, cybersecurity is critical to patient safety, but has often been underestimated. This requires cyber security to become an integral part of patient safety through changes in human behavior, technology and processes as part of a holistic solution. Also because we must not forget that the health system is a complex system in which multiple factors, heterogeneous and dynamic, interact, including the plurality of health services, specialist skills and professional, technical-health and economic-administrative roles and the heterogeneity of the processes and results to be achieved. In general, the approach and sensitivity towards cybersecurity is taking place at different speeds, even in countries with high evolution as regards digital health, also based on the way health services are provided. Where health services are approached as an industry, like in the USA, there has been a faster response to the  cyber risks.

I invite you to contribute to this issue which has a broad spectrum ranging from the security of wearable microsystems to that of fixed networks; from the artificial wearable pancreas up to the Hospital net.

This Special Issue of Healthcare seeks commentaries, original research, short reports, and reviews on challenges in health systems focused in this field.

Dr. Daniele Giansanti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • e-health
  • medical devices
  • m-health
  • cyber-risk
  • pacemaker
  • artificial-pancreas
  • Picture Archive and Communication System

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Cybersecurity and the Digital-Health: The Challenge of This Millennium
Healthcare 2021, 9(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9010062 - 11 Jan 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
The problem of computer security is as old as computers themselves and dates back decades [...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle
A Blockchain-Based Secret-Data Sharing Framework for Personal Health Records in Emergency Condition
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020206 - 14 Feb 2021
Viewed by 211
Abstract
Blockchain technology is the most trusted all-in-one cryptosystem that provides a framework for securing transactions over networks due to its irreversibility and immutability characteristics. Blockchain network, as a decentralized infrastructure, has drawn the attention of various startups, administrators, and developers. This system preserves [...] Read more.
Blockchain technology is the most trusted all-in-one cryptosystem that provides a framework for securing transactions over networks due to its irreversibility and immutability characteristics. Blockchain network, as a decentralized infrastructure, has drawn the attention of various startups, administrators, and developers. This system preserves transactions from tampering and provides a tracking tool for tracing past network operations. A personal health record (PHR) system permits patients to control and share data concerning their health conditions by particular peoples. In the case of an emergency, the patient is unable to approve the emergency staff access to the PHR. Furthermore, a history record management system of the patient’s PHR is required, which exhibits hugely private personal data (e.g., modification date, name of user, last health condition, etc.). In this paper, we suggest a healthcare management framework that employs blockchain technology to provide a tamper protection application by considering safe policies. These policies involve identifying extensible access control, auditing, and tamper resistance in an emergency scenario. Our experiments demonstrated that the proposed framework affords superior performance compared to the state-of-the-art healthcare systems concerning accessibility, privacy, emergency access control, and data auditing. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
A Quantitative and Qualitative Review on the Main Research Streams Regarding Blockchain Technology in Healthcare
Healthcare 2021, 9(3), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9030247 - 01 Mar 2021
Abstract
(1) Background: Blockchain technology has been gaining high popularity in the healthcare domain. This has brought about a spate of recent studies regarding blockchain technology in healthcare, creating high demand for quantitative or qualitative reviews on the main research streams thereof. In order [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Blockchain technology has been gaining high popularity in the healthcare domain. This has brought about a spate of recent studies regarding blockchain technology in healthcare, creating high demand for quantitative or qualitative reviews on the main research streams thereof. In order to contribute to satisfying the high demand, this research presents a quantitative and qualitative review on studies regarding blockchain technology in healthcare. (2) Methods: A quantitative review was performed by searching the Web of Science database for articles published until 10 March in 2020, and a qualitative review was conducted by using the content analysis based on the integrative view of Leavitt’s diamond model. (3) Results: The quantitative review identified five research streams. The number of articles about blockchain technology in healthcare has dramatically increased since 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 254.4%. English is the most dominant language used in the articles, and the USA and China are the top two countries of origin of the articles, representing overwhelming portions. The IEEE Access, Journal of Medical Systems, Journal of Medical Internet Research, Applied Sciences Basel, and Sensors are the top five journals in terms of publication. The articles showed an L-shaped distribution in terms of their annual average numbers of citations. The qualitative review revealed two research streams. Most of the top 10 articles ranked by their annual average numbers of citations concentrated on developing or proposing new technological solutions using blockchain technology to effectively revolutionize the current methods of managing data in the healthcare domain. The majority of the top 10 articles pursued the convergence of blockchain technology with cloud technology or IoT. (4) Conclusions: This article illuminates the main research streams about blockchain technology in healthcare through a quantitative and qualitative review, providing implications for future research on blockchain technology. Full article
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