ARPA-H Digital Health Security Initiative
The Big Question
What if we could strengthen the nation's digital health infrastructure to protect against cyberattacks?
Cyberattacks on health care facilities can cause interruptions in patient care, shutdown hospital devices, claims services, and computer systems, or even cause hospitals to close their doors permanently. Off-the-shelf software tools often fall short in detecting emerging cyberthreats that can impede the security of our medical facilities.
The Current State
The technical gap between quickly detecting digital vulnerabilities and patching them with existing security protocols means that significant effort is needed to protect from or respond to large-scale cyberattacks. Existing efforts have not addressed these pressing health system vulnerabilities.
DIGIHEALS aims to prevent cyberattacks and, if a widespread attack does happen to a medical facility, to lessen its effects to ensure patients continue to receive care. The program also aims to improve the quality-of-care patients receive. ARPA-H seeks to strengthen our electronic health ecosystem by adapting proven technologies developed for national security so those technologies can be used in civilian health systems, clinical care facilities, and even personal health devices. The goal of DIGIHEALS is to provide better digital security that keeps our health systems and patients’ information secure.
DIGIHEALS sought proposals that address vulnerabilities in security health care data, such as automated medical device patching, ransomware intervention, cognitive health assistants for better data organization, cyber reasoning techniques, and electronic health record consolidation. In addition, the DIGIHEALS program seeks to identify limitations of future technology deployments and contribute to the development of new innovations in digital security.
Proposals for DIGIHEALS were submitted through the Scaling Health Applications Research for Everyone (SHARE) BAA. This application period has now closed.