Cyber crime threatens medical manufacturers

Manufacturers paid $36.9 million in premiums for Cyber Insurance in 2016, according to figures from Advisen Ltd, an insurance consulting firm reported in the Wall Street Journal, up a staggering 89% from the year before. With 1 in 5 UK businesses falling victim to cyber crime between April 2016 and 2017, it’s not hard to see why there has been a sudden surge in manufacturer’s taking out Cyber Liability policies. What are the potential impacts of a breach? With cyber attacks on big businesses never far from the headlines, it is not hard to imagine how a data security breach could shut down a factory. Manufacturing environments are increasingly computerised, automated and digitally integrated with other parts of a company. A hack or breach in any manufacturing business could easily threaten the security of the whole company; potentially stopping production and trading until the source is discovered, the damage limited and the incident investigated. For pharmaceutical or medical manufacturers, a hack could be devastating. In this highly specialised industry, malicious software or rival espionage could see a business losing sensitive data, patented property or intellectual property, as well as potentially damaging hugely expensive specialist equipment. What’s more, ceasing production could cause supply chain issues for hospitals, clinics and healthcare authorities, ultimately impacting on public health. Won’t my Business Interruption cover damage or losses? A Business Interruption policy will usually stipulate the “interruptions” it covers – typically fire, flood and theft – as well as any exclusions. Computer equipment and specialist machinery may or may not be covered, depending on your policy. However, standard Business Interruption insurance won’t cover a cyber attack if nothing is physically damaged – so lost or stolen data, bank details or money may be exposed. Medical manufacturers should consider specialist Cyber Insurance. It can cover the a wide range of costs associated with cyber losses, including legal and PR costs, with a limit which reflects the value of the large amounts of data stored by pharmaceutical organisations. Get in touch with Safeguard’s Life Science insurance specialists on 08456 888 284 for more information.

R&D investment could see Britain develop a world-leading Life Sciences strategy

As the industry’s thoughts turn to making the most from the UK’s impending departure from the EU, Professor Sir John Bell releases a report with the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board. The report asks how Britain could build a world-leading life sciences strategy. What does world-leading mean? Life science is a global industry, and while tech largely eliminates geographical barriers, investment and strategy in this growing area could help secure the UK’s role in the global economy.  What needs to be done? Sir John Bell’s report focuses on a deal between the Government and the life sciences industry. It also recommends a variety of actions, from increasing the number of clinical trials carried out by 50% to attracting capital investment for large and small manufacturing facilities. Here are three key recommendations;
  • Invest in R&D The report strongly recommends that research and development (R&D) spending should rise from 1.6% of GDP to 2.6% over the next five years. That would put the UK in the top quartile worldwide, which the report suggests could help attract 2000 new scientists from around the globe and create a centre of excellence.
  • Prioritise AI Things have changed since the 1970s when Sir James Lighthill cut funding for robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sir John Bell’s report recommends reviewing how AI can be used to support the biopharmaceutical industry, particularly to transform pathology and medical imaging.
  • Cooperation between central, local and regional government Funding is vital to help create and sustain hubs of science and manufacturing in regions across the UK, but also requires every faction of government to work together - as well as health, housing and education departments. The report suggests collaboration is the only way to genuinely improve healthcare and outcomes in the UK.
Safeguard supports Life Sciences businesses throughout the UK with expert advice and specialist insurance arrangements. Get in touch on 08456 888 284 to find out more.  

How can healthcare trends predict the future of Life Sciences?

Where will Life Science research be focused in the coming years? Safeguard turns to healthcare trends for a suggestion. It is apparent that technology is changing every industry, but perhaps none more so than healthcare and medicine. As Daniel Newman writes for Forbes, “no one can dispute technology’s ability to enable us all to live longer, healthier lives”. But an ageing population presents as many healthcare challenges as solutions. What’s more, understanding why instances of some diseases and illnesses are rising can help Life Science organisations target their solutions. So how do we know where to look?   Healthcare Trends It is possible to forecast future healthcare trends by looking at how data has changed in the last few years. Deloitte reports that average life expectancy in OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) increased by five years between 1990 and 2012, according to the World Health Organisation, while over 65s will make up 10% of the global population by 2018. This may signpost the importance of researching age-related health problems, developing new treatments and considering how to roll them out. Though trend-based predictions are not concrete, they can raise some interesting points. Digital Medicine Deloitte’s 2014 paper Healthcare and Life Sciences Predictions 2020 proposes we will soon live in the era of “digitised medicine”, suggesting that “3D printing of medical devices” and “robotic or robotically enhanced surgery” will be commonplace by 2020, allowing surgeons to access detailed radiological information and enhanced visuals with 3D goggles. While the predictions may not have got the timeline just right, advanced medical 3D printing is being used to create cheap or temporary prosthetics, medical models and even implants such as heart valves. Wearable Technology The general public is already using health monitoring apps and wearable technology to measure heart rate, step count and sleep quality with fevered interest – a concept that would have been unthinkable ten years ago. DIY technology also gives patients living with conditions such as diabetes the ability to monitor and manage their health with bio-sensing devices such as DIY blood tests or wearable ECGs. Due to the take-up and potential, it is reasonably safe to predict this will be a growth area. Empowered Consumers Several researchers have suggested that patients are no longer willing to accept “high costs and long waits”.  Thanks to internet-enabled technologies, consumers have access to more information about their health and are accepting more accountability for their wellbeing, turning to the private sector when public services fail to be convenient and transparent. Should the healthcare industry move towards flexible treatment and service, new products and technologies will be required to keep up – from wireless heart monitoring via mobile phone apps to at-home versions of traditionally hospital-based medical treatments such as chemotherapy. From biomedical research to medicinal product production, whichever areas of Life Sciences your business focuses on, our team can protect your complex and multifaceted process. For more information, call Safeguard on 08456 888 284 or email to talk to our team.