The Health July/August 2022 | Page 7

| Foreign News |



Ransomware attacks healthcare organisations


RANSOMWARE attacks against healthcare companies are increasing , leaving hospitals and other care facilities ’ data vulnerable to cyber-hackers ’ demands
According to the cybersecurity company Sophos ’ s ‘ The State of Ransomware in Healthcare 2022 report , 66 per cent of healthcare organisations were hit by ransomware attacks last year , up from 34 per cent in 2020 .
Attackers have become “ considerably more capable at executing the most significant attacks at scale ” as evidenced by the near doubling of cyber-incidents .
Healthcare organisations are a common target for ransomware attacks because they largely rely on access to data , such as patient information , to keep their operations running smoothly . Even a short delay in access to records can result in negative patient outcomes .
According to the Sophos analysis , 61 per cent of the healthcare businesses who reported ransomware attacks had their data encrypted at the time .
This was an improvement from the healthcare industry ’ s
CORDLIFE Group Limited ( Cordlife ), a Singapore Exchange mainboard listed consumer healthcare company , and AMILI Pte Ltd ( AMILI ), recently announced a strategic partnership to provide the firstever gut microbiome banking service in Singapore and the region .
This partnership synergises both companies ’ core specialisations , gut microbiome processing and analysis by AMILI and cryopreservation by Cordlife , to allow people in Singapore to store their gut microbiome for future faecal microbiota transplants ( FMT ). Cordlife markets the gut microbiome banking service through its wholly-owned subsidiary Cordlife Technologies Pte Ltd .
Cordlife , as one of Asia ’ s pioneers in cryopreservation of umbilical cord blood obtained from babies , sees this partnership as another step towards expanding its cryopreservation expertise .
Tan Poh Lan , Cordlife ’ s Group CEO and Executive Director
65 per cent encryption rate in 2020 and was marginally better than the 65 per cent encryption rate across all industry sectors globally . This “ indicates that healthcare was better able to stop data encryption in a ransomware attack ,” reported Sophos .
The findings are based on an independent “ vendor-agnostic ” survey of 5,600 information technology professions in medium-sized organisations , including 381 healthcare respondents across 31 countries .
The analysis also indicated a decrease in the frequency of extortion-only attacks , from seven per cent in 2020 to just four per cent in 2021 . The data is not encrypted in extortion-only

Cordlife and AMILI partner in gut microbiome service

Amili Staff Homogenizing A Gut Microbiome Sample .
commented on the partnership : “ We are excited to launch Southeast Asia ’ s first-ever gut microbiome banking service with AMILI , as we work together to develop a holistic approach for the well-being of our community .
“ We hope our partnership will help patients in Singapore and the region with access to approved alternative medical therapy .”
Dr Jeremy Lim from AMILI said : “ We doctors and scientists attacks , but the healthcare company was “ held to ransom with the fear of data exposure .”
The increase in successful ransomware attacks has “ affected healthcare more than any other sector ,” according to Sophos , based in the United Kingdom . When compared to cross-sector averages , healthcare experienced the “ greatest increase in the volume of cyberattacks ( 69 per cent ) as well as the complexity of cyber-attacks ( 67 per cent )”.
Almost 99 per cent of healthcare businesses that were the target of ransomware attacks in 2021 received “ some encrypted data returned ,” as opposed to only 93 per cent in 2020 . — The Health
now know the importance of the gut microbiome in human health . With advances in genetic sequencing and computing , the secrets of the gut microbiome are being unlocked and new applications developed in conditions as diverse as autism , dementia , Parkinson ’ s disease , inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes .“
FMT or gut microbiome transplantation is the transfer of healthy microbiomes from a healthy person into the gastrointestinal tract of a sick person to restore microbial balance . The transplantation is a widely accepted treatment for recurrent Clostridioides difficile ( C diff ) infection , with cure rates of up to 90 per cent . AMILI co-founder Adj Assoc Prof David Ong performed the first GMT for C diff in Singapore at the National University Hospital in 2014 .
The gut microbiome describes the human gut ’ s trillions of bacteria , viruses and fungi . The microbiome is essential for human health and plays important role in immune function , metabolism , and brain health .
The microbiome deteriorates over time and can be severely affected by gut infections and prolonged use of antibiotics . — The Health
Pfizer ’ s vaccine for kids under five
ACCORDING to the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ), three doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine appeared to be effective in preventing Covid illness in children under five , judging by the level of virus-blocking antibodies the shots induced , reports the NY Times .
Some public health professionals anticipate that the FDA will approve Moderna ’ s and Pfizer ’ s vaccinations , giving parents a choice .
After the FDA acts , the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) must also weigh in with its recommendations . The only Americans who are not yet eligible for vaccinations are the roughly 18 million children under five .
Sanofi teams up with Health2Sync
SANOFI K . K . ( Sanofi ) and Health2Sync have entered into a partnering agreement to support healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes mellitus through digital support programs .
Health2Sync , a digital health startup , specialising in diabetes and other chronic disease management , has developed a healthcare / lifestyle app that about 290,000 users in Japan have used .
Recently , the mean HbA1c level has tended to increase among people living with diabetes mellitus . Patients receive an average of 14.8 units of baseline insulin . They have an HbA1c of 7.8 per cent , indicating that the basal insulin dose may be further optimised if an appropriate approach is taken .
Through this partnering agreement , Sanofi and Health2Sync will work together to develop digitised features for healthcare providers and patients on insulin in Japan that will help improve Hypoglycemia / Hyperglycemia insulin management by connected caps for insulin , and titration alerts , to people living with diabetes .— The Health

Expat burnout a huge challenge

THE vast majority of expats are burned out , stressed and reevaluating life and work priorities for more flexibility or to be closer to family and friends , according to a report based on the eighth edition of the Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey .
The report released on June 23 , ‘ Burned out Overseas – The State of Expat Life 2022 ’, found 90 per cent of expats are stressed and 98 per cent have experienced symptoms of burnout , likely driven by feeling unable to switch off from work . Expats are experiencing an overwhelming sense of isolation , with 87 per cent reporting feeling helpless , trapped , or defeated and 86 per cent feeling detached or alone .
Meanwhile , more than a third ( 38 per cent ) are also concerned or uncertain about their financial situation . These findings contribute to a mix of lifestyle , opportunity , and work culture factors .
The study found 73 per cent of current expats , and 75 per cent of those who plan to move overseas in the next two years , have spent more time reevaluating their life priorities since the pandemic . Lifestyle now replaces finances as the top priority for those planning to move overseas . — The Health