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Digital health care: A closer look at benefits and how to stay secure

As the lives of every day Canadians become increasingly more digitized, some see health care as one area that could gain some traction in the near future.

Media and tech consultant Mohit Rajhans told CTV’s Your Morning on Thursday that the rapid “digital acceleration,” brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, has seen digital tools such as QR codes and the storing of some health information on people’s phones grow in popularity.

However, Canadians also are in a situation where some doctors’ offices may still use fax or letter mail.

“Now we have to move beyond that,” he said.

Rajhans says the paperless trend is starting to be incorporated by many health-care professionals, and he suspects to see some records stored on people’s health cards.

“Because at the end of the day, a health practitioner is going to be able to get that information from us that we’re giving and be able to make a way better assessment than having to go through layers of information in front of us,” he said.

But beyond the efficiencies that could be gained through this trend, Rajhans pointed to ways people can ensure their information is stored securely.

“I think one of the biggest issues that people feel right now is that, what are we signing up for, and what are we giving information for and how can it be used against us?” he said.

This comes after researchers at the Toronto-based Citizen Lab flagged a security issue in China’s 2022 Beijing Olympics app that attendees must use.

The research institute said earlier this month that the app does not validate some SSL certificates, which use encryption to secure apps and ensure unauthorized people can’t access information as it’s being transmitted.

The issue means information could be intercepted, including audio files, health and customs forms containing passport details, and medical and travel history.

Rajhans notes that different countries will have different rules when it comes to tracking on certain devices.

He says in many cases, where health-care apps do exist, two-factor authentication is used, a method where a user undergoes a second login process which may include using another password.

“Just from a practical standpoint, by scanning, emailing yourself, and storing things in some form of iCloud storage or cloud storage, you’re already giving yourself that security that we didn’t even have five years ago,” Rajhans said.

With files from The Canadian Press

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