The health emergency has upset the lives of all of us and, above all, has changed people’s perception of medical services. Healthcare organizations have had to adapt to the new conditions and, according to a study by Kaspersky, 56% of them are planning to increase their investments in telemedicine e virtual assistance.
Kaspersky decided to interview decision makers in the healthcare industry to understand how the digital transformation is progressing and to understand what issues will need to be resolved. The research involved a sample of 389 healthcare providers from 36 countries: 89% of Italian healthcare organizations (91% globally) have already implemented telemedicine services and 50% (44% globally) have started using them after the pandemic. At the same time, 25% of Italian respondents said they refused such services for fear of security risks.
Telemedicine services are increasingly in demand by patients of all age groups
According to the Kaspersky report, 40% of Italian respondents (71% globally) are convinced that telemedicine services will be fundamental in the health sector within the next 5 years. In fact, almost half of organizations (42% globally and 25% in Italy) believe that most of their patients are more likely to visit remotely than in person. The possibility of saving time and money and choosing who to consult are the aspects that have the greatest influence on the positive opinion of patients towards telemedicine.
In this regard, telemedicine services are increasingly requested by patients of all age groups, especially by the elderly: in fact, only 38% (51% globally) of users of virtual formats are under the age of 50. As for the types of services, the most used are the remote monitoring of the patient via wearable devices (41% globally vs 44% in Italy) and the synchronous telemedicine (51% globally vs 44% in Italy), i.e. real-time communication with patients (video calls or chat). There asynchronous telemedicine technology (39% globally vs 11% in Italy) is the most used among the alternative services: in this case, patient data is collected on a cloud platform.
Despite the advantages offered by these technologies, the 75% of Italian respondents (74% globally) were faced with patients who refused to make a video call with medical staff. Specifically, there is a lack of trust in telemedicine services (33% globally – 25% in Italy), a reluctance to appear on video (32% globally – 50% in Italy) and a concern for lack of adequate equipment (30% globally – 25% in Italy). Unfortunately, it’s not just patients who are concerned about their privacy: the 50% of Italian healthcare professionals (81% globally) stated that doctors in their organization have expressed concerns about the protection of patient data and only 22% of respondents (36% globally) believe their organization has the necessary security measures in place.
Evgeniya Naumova, Kaspersky’s Executive Vice President Corporate Business, commented on these findings: “Trust has always been a key factor in the healthcare sector. Given that more and more medical facilities today rely on technology and digital to support their services, patients are demanding that the privacy of their medical data be respected. This means that the level of trust within the industry is intrinsically linked to the ability of providers to ensure the security of the sensitive information they collect, share and store. The rapid development of the healthcare sector and its growing complexity make it more profitable for the bad guys, so it is necessary for healthcare institutions to make cybersecurity their top priority. They should evaluate their current level of defense and wisely adopt the most appropriate solutions and tools. In this way, they will be able to build a better future where distance or cybersecurity risks will not be a barrier and everyone will be able to receive high quality medical care.“.
To consult the complete report, here is the link.