Would you trust your medical data to the cloud? Does your doctor or hospital?

In December 2015 and January 2016, we asked more than 600 CIOs, CTOs, CMOs, heads of IT Infrastructure, and other executives a question about how they felt about security and real-time big data challenges in 5G networks.

We asked them to rate their concern on specifics such as:

  • security of the end device
  • security and unauthorized access to data at rest
  • interception of data in transit
  • data sovereignty
  • regulation and compliance
  • lack of ability to independently verify whether the data has been tampered with
  • historical attribution of data

High stakes with medical big data security

There were high levels of concerns across the board, but the executives in the medical industry were consistently more worried than their counterparts. And they should—there is more immediately at stake in medicine.


The reasons for this are for forensic and indemnification reasons. Data is going to be used for companies to make better business decisions. If the decisions turn out to be bad, people need to be able to trace back to where, when, and how those decisions were made.

Also, as the markets mature, we will start trading this data, both raw and refined. Then other companies will be making good and bad decisions based on it. So for indemnification reasons, it is really important to be able to independently verify that the data used was the data given and also that the data given came from the right places.

How do you prove medical big data is accurate?

Easy example: I give a surgeon a blood type for Sophie, because the surgeon is about to do surgery.  Sophie dies because she is given a blood transfusion of the wrong blood type. Sophie’s family sues the surgeon, who turns around and sues me, saying I provided the wrong blood type. The surgeon shows me a document showing I was wrong. I show the surgeon a document showing I was right. Who has forged which document?

Let’s say we have provenance (a posh word for history) with our data, and I was actually the one who was wrong. I need to be able to go back in my systems and see where the wrong data came from.  Maybe it was a sub-supplier.

A data-driven world

Imagine this situation times a million, and you have a data-driven world. And it’s a world that medical executives are right to be concerned about, if they don’t have the right kind of governance and security in their cloud.

Also, read on how we get to a world of absolute data integrity. We examine a solution based on blockchain technology in this eBook:

Download the Blockchain and Data Integrity eBook!

Data & Analytics Security Digital Industrialization

Geoff Hollingworth

Geoff is Head of Product Marketing Cloud Systems, responsible for the global positioning, promotion and education of Ericsson’s next generation Cloud infrastructure offerings. He was previously embedded with AT&T in Silicon Valley, leading Ericsson’s innovation efforts towards the AT&T Foundry initiative. He has also held positions as Head of IP Services Strategy for North America and overseeing the Ericsson brand in North America, as well as other roles in software R&D and mobile network deployment. Joining Ericsson more than 20 years ago, Geoff has been based in London, Stockholm, Dallas and Palo Alto. He holds a First Class Honors Bachelors degree in Computing Science and has won the Computing Science Prize of Excellence from Aston University in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

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