At HIMSS24: Cybersecurity and AI – Embracing New Technology with Security in Mind

March 19, 2024
With new technologies come new risks. Industry experts discuss the pros and cons of AI in healthcare.

Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) an asset or a risk in cybersecurity? At HIMSS24 in Orlando, experts discussed the latest in cybersecurity in healthcare during the March 11 preconference forums.

Lee Kim, senior principal, privacy and cybersecurity at HIMSS, moderated the day's first panel. Lisa Bazis, CISO officer of Nebraska Medicine said that their organization is an early National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) adopter. “You need technology to help,” Bazis said about using AI. However, she added that Nebraska Medicine takes a slow approach to using different AI features. She noted that one of their organization's biggest wins in cybersecurity was conducting risk assessments of medical devices. This included working with people who use the devices and frictionless upgrades for approximately 9000 devices.

“There is a false sense of security,” commented Mike Nelson, DigiCert's global V.P. of digital trust. “We are early in addressing AI.” He explained that the industry needs a framework to point to, and he expects to see standards around AI in the future. “You need to know where you are strong operationally and where you need help.” Nelson emphasized that “Having the ability to establish trusted relationships is critical.” He noted that there is a lack of resources who know what they are doing. Nelson advised that asking for vendor audits regarding AI tools is good. He also noted that it’s important to know the update strategy when purchasing medical devices.

When asked about the impact of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), Bazis responded, “You have to be open to see a different way.” She pointed out that a new generation of providers is coming in with a different way of doing things. As professors retire, she said, we have a bridge to the gap in education. She thinks simulations could be part of the answer.

Indeed, Nelson said, “We will see dramatic changes. “VR will be a great tool for training and simulation.” He is especially interested in what AI can do with diseases. “There is tremendous potential,” he said. “If we can harness AI, these systems will improve.” He cautioned that it has to be secure. “Healthcare will only embrace technology if it’s trustworthy.”

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