VA health care systems and medical devices increasingly rely on internet features that improve Veteran health care services and increase VA’s ability to treat Veterans. That’s why VA has been vigilant with its responsibility of mitigating potential cyberthreats.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the heath care environment is complex, and manufacturers, hospitals, and facilities must work together to manage cybersecurity risks.

As such, VA recently signed partnerships with Massachusetts General Hospital and Shepherd University. This collaboration’s research will address cybersecurity and compatibility measures needed in devices used for VA patient care. It will also refine existing and emerging cybersecurity standards and practices for network connectable medical devices, medical data systems and other related technology.

Beyond VA, the agreements could have a broad impact in standardizing cybersecurity and safety requirements within the larger public health sector. VA is contributing to industry-wide awareness of both medical device vulnerabilities and threats, while applying further tests of the Underwriters Laboratories criteria and other emerging standards.

Without question, Veterans deserve to have the best medical technology available to them to help improve their standards of living. At the same time, we also owe it to them to make sure the devices we use are free from modern day cyberthreats.

Dr. Carolyn Clancy is the Deputy Under Secretary for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks at the Veterans Health Administration

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Published on Jan. 13, 2020

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One Comment

  1. S W January 13, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Sure, sounds good on paper. Meanwhile the V.A. has FORCED veterans to sign in to appointments and submit their travel on kiosks that are NOT protected. So much for SECURITY. If veterans like me refuse to use the kiosks for our travel, then we’re denied travel reimbursement, but gee, it’s on us because we don’t want to use the kiosks. Anyone standing directly behind the veteran using the kiosk can get ALL of their information. Identity stolen!!! My V.A. REFUSES to listen to me about this. It quite simply put is 1. a VIOLATION of our HIPAA rights and 2. the V.A. VIOLATING ITS OBLIGATION under Title 45 CFR to protect our personally identifiable information. The other issue is that some veterans stand really close behind the veteran using the kiosk in an effort to hurry them up because “gee, I need to get signed in”. They don’t, won’t or can’t understand what personal space is. I have had several employees agree with me but will they “go to bat” for veterans, NO. Afraid of losing their cushy jobs and great paycheck, meanwhile, vets are feeling pushed out and not cared about. Where’s the HUMAN piece of all this? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t one because we’re just a number, meat on a hook only expected to live about ten years after we leave the service.

    So are there ANY V.A. employees out there with the kahunas to talk to me about my concerns? ANYBODY??? Mr Wilkie, anyone with a brain in DC? Oops, there’s an oxymoron.

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