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Nova Leah | Dr. Anita Finnegan | CEO & Co-Founder

Medical devices today are highly connected to the internet and hospital networks. They are thus able to operate in a manner that improves the efficiency of healthcare services offered to patients. However, the same features could be vulnerable to cybersecurity risks, which may impact the reliability and effectiveness of a device.

Putting emphasis on the concern, Nova Leah is an established leader that interacts to provide cybersecurity solutions through cloud-based risk management functions. Through its SelectEvidence™ software, medical devices are automatically assessed, which eases the process of risk management for device manufacturers. For every risk identified, Nova Leah is set to offer its presence and suggest actionable and specific mitigations.

Addressing its effeteness in managing risk in healthcare, Insights Care reaches out to Dr. Anita Finnegan, the CEO, and Co-founder of Nova Leah, to learn from her the actual scenario behind the company’s success.

To know more, kindly delve into Noah Leah’s story:

An Established Cybersecurity Solution

Nova Leah is a world leader in the provision of cybersecurity solutions for medical device manufacturers and healthcare providers. With offices in the U.S. and Ireland, Nova Leah’s software provides device manufacturers with an intelligent, automated, and traceable approach to cybersecurity assessments. SelectEvidence™ from Nova Leah is an expert cybersecurity risk assessment platform that guides medical device manufacturers through the processes of identifying applicable threats to their products and implementing the right security controls to mitigate them.

Connected medical devices represent a rapidly growing sector in healthcare. It has been reported that U.S. hospitals have an average of 10–15 connected medical devices per bed, and within the next ten years, it is expected that more than 50 billion connected medical devices will be in use globally.

The increased connectivity of medical devices, though beneficial, exposes medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers, and patients to cybersecurity risks.

Nova Leah was established in 2015 with the goal of increasing the safety and security of connected medical devices. It was founded by Dr. Anita Finnegan, a government advisor and award-winning international expert in cybersecurity risk management. Finnegan is a published author and project leader of multiple internationally regulated industry standards for medical equipment in healthcare technology.

Addressing Security via the Cloud.

SelectEvidence™ is Nova Leah’s flagship product. It is a cloud-based risk management solution for connected medical devices that automates the continuous assessment of cybersecurity risks and the mitigation of related threats. The expert cybersecurity risk assessment platform guides medical device manufacturers through the process of identifying applicable vulnerabilities and identifying the right security controls to mitigate those risks. SelectEvidence™ does this by continually monitoring SBOMs across all connected medical devices.

An organization’s cybersecurity posture is of critical importance. SelectEvidence™ from Nova Leah provides an accurate and real-time visualization of the security status of every medical device, alongside the means to reduce risk. It automates cybersecurity risk assessments to ensure compliance across all international standards. Decision makers can see at a glance if there are outstanding risks for any particular medical device. The solution provides product owners with the means to assess and mitigate existing and emerging risks as they unfold. SelectEvidence ™ automatically ingests each software bill of materials (SBOM) and scans it for new vulnerabilities on a continuous basis, saving significant amounts of operational effort.

Innovating Tools for Healthcare Needs

Since 2008, when Dr. Kevin Fu and his research team published research outlining how a pacemaker could potentially be hacked or even turned off, the entire medical industry has become acutely aware of the cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with connected medical devices.

Connected medical devices represent a rapidly growing sector in healthcare. These devices are increasingly vulnerable to cybersecurity risks, and the regulatory compliance landscape is complex and constantly evolving. The increased connectivity of medical devices, though beneficial, exposes medical device manufacturers, healthcare providers, and patients to cybersecurity risks.

SelectEvidence ™ was designed to address the regulatory and compliance challenges faced by medical device manufacturers, with regard to cybersecurity, in the most timely and cost-effective manner. It is the first risk management tool in the world to deliver medical device compliance across multiple international standards. Nova Leah’s expert software allows medical device manufacturers to quickly automate the process of identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities within their product portfolios, thus satisfying evolving regulatory needs.

The Motivating Factor

Nova Leah was founded by Dr. Anita Finnegan in 2015, following the output of her doctoral research into cybersecurity risk management. Finnegan subsequently commercialized this into an award-winning framework for increased security and safety for connected medical devices. She is an advisor at the government level on key issues around medical device security and has authored a number of critical papers for international bodies. She has also authored two internationally regulated industry standards for medical equipment—ISO/IEC 80001-2-8 and ISO/IEC 80001-2-8.

Finnegan has won numerous awards and has been recognized internationally as a leader in her field. She has been nominated twice for the E.U. Prize for Women Innovators, which recognizes the most talented women entrepreneurs in Europe and beyond.

A Technological Touch

Healthcare companies generate vast amounts of data today. Hence, by sharing their knowledge and learning through technological support, they will be able to discover cures and improve treatments with incredible speed and efficiency.

Similarly, there has been increased transparency of cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and data breaches. However, its solution has become less costly and dealt with far more swiftly, resulting in increased patient safety through the advanced use of technology in multiple healthcare operations.

A Post-Pandemic Scenario

Telehealth and remote telemedicine consultations are eliminating the need for onsite patient diagnosis and treatments. There is also a rapid evolution in connected medical devices that monitor patients from the comfort of their own homes. Nova Leah’s products are designed specifically to keep these devices and systems safe from cyberattacks, allowing healthcare providers and manufacturers complete oversight of potentially many thousands of devices at once and the ability to quickly communicate and remediate any threats that may occur.

A Note for Budding Entrepreneurs

As an established leader, Dr. Anita Finnegan advises budding entrepreneurs when looking into venturing into healthcare – “Spend some time learning about the pain points and challenges the healthcare industry faces today. Look for ways to build efficiencies into the system that improve trust and patient safety.

Envisioning 2022 and Beyond

Envisioning its company’s services in 2022 and beyond, Finnegan points out, “This year, we are expanding into healthcare providers, governments, and GPOs. As for the longer term, we will be expanding into other safety-critical industries such as autonomous driving, aviation, and beyond. “

Recognition

Nova Leah was named Emerging Company of the Year at the 2019 Technology Ireland Awards in association with Ibec and was shortlisted by Digital Europe for the European Future Unicorn Award’ in 2020. The company was featured in WIRED Magazine as one of “Europe’s 100 Hottest Start-ups’ and Finnegan was listed as one of “50 Female Entrepreneurs Everyone Should Know” by Crunchbase. The company was also awarded ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 by the National Standards Authority Ireland (NSAI).