Chris Kersey: Health-care Industry Bolsters Hacker Defenses


Medical records are accessed five times more often by hackers than patients, a shocking reality for the U.S. health-care industry, Chris Kersey, partner and managing member for Camden Partners, said Thursday.

Kersey was the keynote speaker on the second day of the Healthcare Dealmakers Conference at The Adolphus Hotel.

The retail and banking industries grab most of the headlines for breaches, but the health-care sector accounts for 44 percent of cyber security hacks, Kersey said.

The goal is to set up fraudulent third-party billing, bilking the patient out of hundreds of dollars.

“It’s all about fraudulent billing,” Kersey said.

The health-care industry is fighting back with new software that can detect cyber attacks, learn from the attack, and even go after the hacker, Kersey said.

This cybersecurity sector is wide open for innovation and investment. Camden Partners is a Baltimore-based company that focuses on private equity in the health-care industry. It has a Dallas office.

Kersey addressed other topics in his talk.


The proliferation of wearable technology has just started changing the health-care industry and the sky is the limit.

Having a device that tracks footsteps, heart rate and all around physical activity gives healthcare providers, employers and insurance companies a window into the individual’s habits.

“Wearables change the paradigm,” Kersey said. “They actually create a much closer relationship between the patient and the doctor. It can incent different behaviors which is a big deal. It’s definitely an emerging theme in healthcare.”

This big data produced by the Fitbit is part of the larger “Internet of Things” that’s quickly taking over so many aspects of everyday life, Kersey said. It’s similar to how Google’s Nest Thermostat makes homes smarter or how connected car technology enhances in-car entertainment and even self-driving cars.


Personalized medicine could get a huge shot in the arm by tapping the incomprehensible amount of medical data that exists in the world today.

For insurance companies, it’s about stratifying patient risk for better health outcomes at a lower cost.

“It’s personalized health care, tailored to the patient, anticipating which drug goes with a patient’s condition,” Kersey said.

It’s almost impossible to conceive how much data is out there—a recent study showed there will be 25,000 petabytes (a petabyte is 1 million gigabytes) of medical data out there, Kersey said.

“It’s amazing how much data is out there,” Kersey said.

Siphoning through this data in a way that makes this big data accessible and usable could be the next trillion-dollar industry, Kersey said. It’s a sector that’s ripe for mergers and acquisitions and IPOs.

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