Liability of 21st century medical technology

Two industries collide

Advances in both medical and digital technology have been taking place at lightning speed for the last 20 years or more. Generation X and the Millennials have no concept of life without the Internet, iPods, GPS navigation, DNA testing, laparoscopic and laser surgery, and alternative methods of conception.

From your digital medical records and prescriptions to remote-controlled robotic surgeries, just about everything in medicine is enhanced by if not dependant on wireless technology.

Why Should I Get Health Insurance?

Broadly, there are two reasons to have health insurance:

  • Health insurance supports you if you get sick, we recommend the best life insurance Canada offers to its citizens
  • Health insurance helps you avoid getting sick to begin with

Let’s look at each of these reasons in more detail:

Health Insurance as a Safety Net

It’s important to have health insurance as a safety net. If you unexpectedly get sick or injured, health insurance is there to help cover costs that you likely can’t afford to pay on your own.

Health care can be very expensive. It can be an enormous financial burden. Surgery, emergency care, prescription drugs, lab work, scans and examinations – these sorts of costs can add up very quickly. They can even be high enough to cause individuals to go bankrupt, or to turn down care that they need but can’t afford out-of-pocket. Speaking of personal budged, fortunately thehealthmania provides the latest drugs and healthy supplement reviews in a daily basis, so you don’t get scammed.

But, with health insurance, you’re not facing those costs as an individual; there’s an insurance plan helping you cover the costs, and helping you navigate the confusion of medical billing.

Let’s face it, medical bills aren’t the sort of thing you want to be dealing with while ill, injured, in a hospital bed or the emergency room. It’s smart to make difficult financial decisions ahead of time, by getting health insurance before you get sick.

Preventing Illness

The other reason it’s important to have health insurance is that it makes it easier for you to keep from getting sick in the first place.

Having health insurance makes it easier for you to access – that is, find and pay for – routine and preventive health care. This includes:

  • Annual checkups
  • Vaccinations (flu shots, MMR, etc.)
  • Blood tests and lab work
  • Scans and screenings

These all play a role in keeping you healthy, and diagnosing any illness you might have as soon as possible.

21st century risks

You’re in a minority if your computer or cell phone has never been exposed to spam, hackers, viruses or software and hardware malfunctions. These can result in simple headaches or serious financial and security breaches.

And so it stands to reason that the digital medical devices so many depend on to keep them healthy, or even alive, are also susceptible to the same risks. For example, pacemakers and other implanted devices collect and transmit valuable data from patients to their doctors. Few if any have encryption or defensive mechanisms in place.

Electronic implants, patient medical data monitors,  electronic insulin dispensers and online diagnostic apps are only a few of the new generation of wireless technologies that, if breached, could expose manufacturers, developers, software companies and others to liability lawsuits.

Will the insurance industry advance just as quickly?

So far, it hasn’t. Insurers currently focus on tangible medical products. But medical devices and smart technology, with particular regard to software and apps, are now nearly one in the same. Adding to the problem is the fact that product liability laws differ among jurisdictions.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to release regulation recommendations addressing the merging worlds of medical and pseudo-medical devices. New regulations in this area will surely affect the health insurance in my state and any other.

Source:Graeme Newman, “Technical and Medical Device Convergence,”  Insurance Journal. 24 Feb. 2014

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Categories: Breach Of Security, Crime, Cyber Liability

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