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How Does Artificial Intelligence Help in Data Protection and HIPAA Compliance?

By Narendra Sahoo

Cybercrimes have been prevalent in the financial industry for years. But, today hackers have shifted their focus towards the data-rich healthcare industry as their lucrative target. Despite stringent norms and regulations in place, data protection has been a huge challenge for the healthcare industry. With numerous data breach cases surfacing each year, it comes as no surprise that cybersecurity is today the top priority for the healthcare industry. The growing incidents have significantly raised concerns about data protection for the healthcare institutes handling patient information.

For an industry, as highly exposed as the healthcare industry, Artificial Intelligence is the latest and the most advanced technology that seems promising for data protection. While the healthcare industry has already recognized the benefits of artificial intelligence in a broader spectrum on clinical fronts, it is now being seen as a technology appropriate for Data Protection in the industry. In today’s article, we have shared details as to how AI has been and can be successfully used in the healthcare industry on clinical fronts and how it can possibly be used for securing sensitive data to ensure Compliance to standards such as HIPAA.

AI in the healthcare industry

The role of Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare industry has been a huge topic of discussion with no sign of its adoption in the industry slowing down anytime soon. The application of AI technology on the clinical front has definitely been a huge success.   With the far-reaching potential of the technology, it has only made the industry’s level of efficiency more achievable today.  Witnessing the rapid integration of AI in healthcare is helping the industry become more productive and efficient. Simplifying the lives of the healthcare personals in performing tasks efficiently and with great accuracy, has transformed the way healthcare is now delivered. With far better clinical operations, healthcare outcomes, and an overall improvement in productivity has made the day-to-day life of healthcare practitioners’ easier and life-saving treatments far more accessible. Be it transforming the medical devices to being smarter, to revolutionizing clinical decisions, or advancement in healthcare delivery, the technology has significantly contributed to the development of the industry.

Benefits of AI in the healthcare industry

  • Medical diagnostic – The use of Artificial Intelligence technology has greatly helped diagnose patients with specific diseases.
  • Drug discovery – Many Healthcare and Pharmaceutical companies have leveraged the AI technology in drug discovery and reduced the lengthy traditional process of drug discovery.
  • Clinical trials – Most clinical trials are managed with no integrated solutions to track progress, data gathering, and drug trial outcomes. But, AI Technology is reshaping the traditional clinical trial process.
  • Improved patient outcome – AI technology has significantly contributed to improved patient healthcare outcomes.
  • Unrivalled assistance in surgery – AI has in a unique way been contributing to the healthcare practitioner in the area of surgery with great accuracy in the procedure.
  • Information management – AI has greatly helped in information management by facilitating greater accessibility of information such as expert insight, enhancing and extending the entire body of knowledge and thereby saving valuable time.

AI technology in improving healthcare data security

Artificial Intelligence is a technology that is helping the healthcare industry combat various challenges. Here is how the technology can help improve data security in the healthcare industry and prevent incidents of breach.- Advertisement –

Identify new malware threats

AI is a highly advanced technology that holds the capability of identifying emerging threats using predictive algorithms. It is a technology being explored by the industry to help institutes identify new and unknown malware threats. The technology helps recognize patterns of malware and proactively prevents future attacks.

Identify and respond to breach

AI technology has the capability of identifying the breach and responding to threats efficiently. The technology is much more efficient than traditional security measures. It constantly monitors the behaviour within the network and proactively flags anomalies as and when detected. Using behavioural modelling, the AI technology helps identify malware and takes automated measures to counter the impact. The technology helps augment human surveillance and enhances the security resources that help stay ahead of breaches.- Advertisement –

Address security challenges of smart medical devices

Smart medical devices designed by third-party suppliers often pose a threat to the integrity of the device and its security controls. This could have a damaging effect, leading to compromised data or vulnerabilities targeting patients, their data, and connected hospital. Fake medical devices used for gaining access to hospital networks and hold systems ransom could severely impact the healthcare institute in many ways. However, AI technology is the key to threat detection in medical devices. AI can help with data encryption and monitoring for malware, especially in the automatic identification of threats. It helps evaluate, control, and manage access to devices that connect with the hospital network. The technology diligently helps protect against vulnerabilities in systems, networks, and applications.

Augment human oversight and security shortcomings

The sheer quality of advanced technology like AI to combat security shortcomings is what can revolutionize the process of data protection in the healthcare industry. Artificial intelligence technology allows hospitals to process a massive number of data rapidly and efficiently, freeing professionals to focus on more intuitive and high-priority potential threats. The solution can significantly ease the pressure off the IT security staff and bridge the gaps by extending the capacity of the existing security measure with advanced AI technology. Automating the IT Security measures is one way of staying ahead of security threats and breaches.

Implementing AI in accordance with HIPAA compliance

The Healthcare industry is heavily regulated and requires institutes to implement security controls to safeguard sensitive patient data. This is when advanced AI technology can be used for implementing data-centric security measures. AI technology assures improved efficiency and data protection. It provides a holistic security measure that enables complete digital transformation. But, when implementing new technology healthcare organizations must also consider HIPAA compliance for it is essential that healthcare institutes stay compliant. Here is how institutes should implement AI technology considering HIPAA Compliance requirements:

  • Access management and control – HIPAA requires institutes to have in place access management to safeguard patient health information (PHI). Access should only be granted to relevant staff and those who need it as part of their job. Using AI technology will help transform access controls to be risk adaptive. The technology enables automated monitoring of systems and network access, thereby flagging anomalies and insider threats. Using the technology will be a major break-through in the security world for most healthcare institutes. With multiple layers of security, AI technology facilitates system integration that shall proactively minimize risk and improve the overall security more effectively.
  • Data governance and management – HIPAA law calls for high-level data governance and management. Healthcare institutes are expected to protect and manage the processing of PHI data. This is where and when AI technology can be used for data governance and management.  AI can be used to improve data management in areas such as data ingestion and data query performance. The technology enables data engineers to accelerate data management and improve database administration. AI also provides a potential advantage of improved data management with the automation of tasks that are repetitive in nature and somewhat predictable. The AI-enabled database can significantly improve accuracy and enable greater efficiency.
  • Data encryption – HIPAA requires healthcare organizations to use data encryption technology to protect sensitive patient information. It is the best way to protect against unauthorized access to PHI. Organizations should adopt technologies to encrypt data and secure access to data.
  • Updated policies and procedures – HIPAA requires updating of policies and procedures to comply with the requirements. When implementing new technology an organization must update its internal policies to ensure there are procedures established to support the use of new technology. So, those looking to adopt AI technology must ensure updating their policies accordingly to ensure compliance with HIPAA standards.
  • Business Associate Agreement (BAA) – Healthcare institutes/organizations must have in place a Business Associate Agreement before implementing any advanced technology for processing and securing PHI. Since AI solutions will be used for the secure processing of PHI, an organization must sign a BAA with the technology company before implementing the new AI technology.


Cyber-attacks and a data breach can cost a fortune for healthcare organizations and patients. In an evolving security landscape, using traditional measures is no longer enough to ensure security. Latest, AI-driven security solutions are today the need of the hour for the healthcare industry to ensure Data Protection. AI solutions help create a robust, modern security system that ensures complete end-to-end data protection. Despite certain barriers in implementation, AI technology facilitates healthcare organizations and their cybersecurity team to-

  • Identify new unknown threats
  • Quickly respond and isolate data breaches
  • Protect medical devices
  • Extend the existing capacity of security resources

So, implementing AI-driven solutions as a cyber defense will go a long way in helping organizations secure sensitive data. Besides, the growing cyber-security threats make it all the more essential for the healthcare industry to implement AI technology to proactively protect and respond to cyber threats.  Implementing the AI technology will not just keep PHI data safe, but also ensure HIPAA Compliance.

Read more: https://www.cpomagazine.com/cyber-security/how-does-artificial-intelligence-help-in-data-protection-and-hipaa-compliance/

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