Researchers, healthcare and technology providers start collaboration to boost cybersecurity for connected medical devices


As healthcare becomes more connected, the large volumes of data stored and maintained in healthcare organisations get increasingly exposed to cybersecurity risks for organisations and patients alike.

CYLCOMED, a new Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Action, starts work to develop a new cybersecurity framework for the healthcare sectors relying on connected medical devices. The strong consortium, which groups researchers, healthcare and technology providers, will implement and release a toolbox that allows users to avoid and prevent cyber-risks in the CMDs ecosystem.

Around 500k different types of medical devices are currently manufactured by medical technology companies (e.g., wearables, implantable and stationary medical devices, mobile connected medical devices). CYCLOMED will deliver to SMEs and companies manufacturing, integrating and using CMDs and platforms managing such devices, a comprehensive set of tools that will allow them to implement measures for: secure communications and behaviour, user authentication/access control and data protection, device integrity, software maintenance, integrated visualisation of security information.

The CYLCOMED toolbox includes the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI)-based systems or techniques. At the end of the project, the toolbox will ease integration by device manufacturers, healthcare institutions and platform integrators, allowing stakeholders to avoid and prevent cyber-risks in the CMDs ecosystem.

“CYLCOMED puts forward the vision of trustworthy, dependable and cost-effective health services and medical care delivered thanks to CMDs. The ultimate goal is twofold: on the one hand, to improve the effectiveness and quality of personalised healthcare services (assisting professionals in patient-centric activities through data-driven semi-automated monitoring), and on the other hand, to reduce risks and non-compliance costs”, said Dr. med. Dietmar Frey, Charité – Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, CYLCOMED project coordinator.

Two distinct real-life pilots will be performed to validate the benefits and the wide applicability of the developed tools and guidelines. They will involve specialised healthcare providers from three different EU Member States (Spain, Italy and Germany) and comprise the following scenarios:

  • in-hospital CMD equipment for COVID-19 patients monitoring; and
  • telemedicine devices managed through Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) and deployed in paediatric patients’ homes (to improve their quality of life) or employed during ambulance transfers.

Training will also be a key part of the CYCLOMED’s strategy, to ensure a successful adoption by stakeholders as well as an effective means to leverage existing investments in devices, platforms and other eHealth infrastructures.

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