Why has healthcare become such a target for cyber-attackers? – The Conversation

Pro and anti healthcare protesters vie for spa...

Pro and anti healthcare protesters vie for space in front of televison camera. Demonstration for health care in front of the Hale Boggs Federal Building, Poydras Street, New Orleans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Health care systems

Health care systems (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a worrying but informative article from the Conversation. It highlights that confidential data and even human lives are at risk thanks to the huge spread of connected technology in healthcare.

Source: Why has healthcare become such a target for cyber-attackers?

I have been involved in developing and delivering very large technology solutions into both the public and private sectors. In my experience, there’s a massive injection of ‘bought-in expertise’ to deliver the initial project – although delays and cost overruns are the rule, often due to political meddling and weak management, especially in the public sector. But it’s the ‘maintenance period’ when the problems really manifest – this is the period when the project should be routinely delivering the solution. There’s often a shortage of expertise and budgetary pressures in the post delivery stage – frequently operations are outsourced to greedy outsource service providers.

For me, part of the problem is with initial conception, engineering and design. To effectively manage emerging technology risks, there’s need to take a ‘whole-life’ approach from ‘cradle to grave’, setting out robust quality and service level parameters.

Let’s face it, a large part of the problem is that the ‘beancounters’ having too much sway – austerity is like a tourniquet but it fails every time at the strategic level.

If healthcare providers’ executives and managers, both the private and public sectors, can’t manage emerging technology on a whole life basis, it’s time for them to step aside and outsource – or they should resign or be fired because they’re part of the problem. At a strategic level, there a a need for massive consolidation and rationalization – technology will only be truly effective if it’s harnessed to radical change, a golden period of ‘continuous innovation’.



Opinion – The frustrating experience of trying to legally immigrate reveals France’s true attitude toward immigrants. Source: An Immigrant in France – Editorial – The New York Times – John Gelmini

This article from the New York Times from Dr Alf about the attitude of the French bureaucrats dealing with immigrants reminded me of my experiences of emigrating to America to get married.

I had to produce reams of paper about my previous jobs and financial status, I had to sign a piece of paper saying that I would not be a public charge for 5 years, my father-in-law had to accompany me to the then Department of Immigration and Naturalisation in Tampa, Florida, a drive of more than 220 miles (round trip) and produce an affidavit saying that he would support me should I become unemployed, my then now estranged wife had to undergo a very intrusive interview, dealing with her reasons for marrying me, my-father-in-law was interviewed separately to cross-check the facts.
I had to produce my medical records and I was medically examined twice, to ensure that I was not the bearer of a dangerous or contagious disease.

My fingerprints and a form had to be completed by the police in Tampa, along with a series of photographs to satisfy the immigration authorities, and the immigration authorities wrote to the UK Home Office to establish that I was not a criminal.

Whilst undergoing this process, I was often in rooms with a veritable United Nations of divergent people and the tone of one’s interviewers was one of skepticism, pressure and hectoring.

The French may have attitudes to immigrants that this intrepid reporter for the New York Times didn’t like but she ought to try going through the process of immigration and citizenship into her own country, as I did and then compare the two experiences.

The US media is quick to point to finger at other countries but does not necessarily give to same publicity to weaknesses in the US public sector bureaucracies.

John Gelmini