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Here’s How Computer Vision is Transforming Healthcare

The scope of application of AI-driven technologies in Healthcare is increasing. It seems we are approaching a world where our connected devices tell us when we need to visit our doctor because they have detected symptoms that might be concerning. An explosion of data and computer vision technology has extended a helping hand to medical professionals in decision-making.

As per a report by Verified Market Research, computer vision in Healthcare Market was valued at USD 229.58 Million in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 5317.75 million by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 48.13% from 2019 to 2026.

Computer vision has been around for several decades, but it has recently become a hot topic in the healthcare industry. With the help of computer vision technology, medical practitioners are now able to deliver greater accuracy when it comes to diagnostic procedures, and they can even take care of patients remotely through Conversational AI bots and virtual assistants. This aids the healthcare workers and medical professionals to focus on important tasks that need human intervention as certain processes can be automated through these virtual assistants.

Applications Of Computer Vision in Medicine

Computer vision has drastically changed how doctors practice their art. From new technology that provides quicker diagnoses to wearables that continuously monitor vital signs and send out alerts if something is off—computer vision helps healthcare organizations provide better care delivery. Here is how computer vision can help augment healthcare services.

Cancer Detection

Early detection of cancer is significantly important for improving cure rates and survival rates. Traditional methods of diagnosing are largely inaccurate, however, there has been a recent upsurge in using computer vision to diagnose cancers such as skin, breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Computer Vision helps in carrying out in-depth analysis and early detection of grave diseases like cancer.

PathomIQ Inc. an AI-enabled computational analysis platform, wanted to enhance its Image processing techniques to allow earlier detection of abnormalities and treatment monitoring. Mantra Labs built and trained AI models on relevant medical data to find specific malignancy patterns that helped them in the detection of high-grade cancer cells.

Surgery

Today, surgeons can easily rely on medical imagery derived through cutting-edge technologies such as machine learning and computer vision for assistance during an operation. A simple task such as examining an x-ray of a broken bone when analyzed using computer vision can help improve surgical success rates by eliminating possible human errors. Further studies focus on applications of computer vision in monitoring chronic diseases, heart surgeries, and preventative care.

Dermatology

Computer vision is helping dermatologists in detecting skin cancers with high accuracy. AI algorithms can detect small abnormalities in images of skin lesions and determine which ones need biopsies. This helps avoid invasive procedures on healthy people and confirm diagnoses in those who need it.

According to a paper published in ScienceDirect by Umm AL-Qura University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, a method is offered for the dissection of skin illnesses utilizing color photographs without the requirement for medical intervention. The method had two steps, and the accuracy was remarkable at 95.99 percent for the first stage and 94.016 percent for the second stage when tested on six different forms of skin conditions.

What’s Next in Computer Vision?

There are a growing number of companies combining computer vision with AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), and deep learning to develop innovative products that will transform medicine. For example, using self-driving vehicles for patient transportation. Combining computer vision with AI also means medical applications don’t need to be at medical facilities—they could be integrated into existing or future systems. Imagine simply plugging your smartphone into an algorithm designed to detect cardiovascular disease and having immediate results in real-time!

Though it comes with certain challenges such as lack of technical knowledge, hesitation to adopt AI-based technologies, the possibility of technical errors, dearth of skilled professionals, etc. However, with rapid digitization in the world, the application of these new-age technologies will grow exponentially.

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12 Tips To Secure Your Mobile Application

Cyber attacks and data theft have become so common these days especially when it comes to mobile applications. As a result, mobile apps that experience security breaches may suffer financial losses. With many hackers eyeing to steal customer data, securing these applications has become the number one priority for organizations and a serious challenge for developers. According to Gartner’s recent research, Hype Cycle for Application Security, investment in application security will increase by more than two-fold over the next few years, from $6 billion this year to $13.7 billion by 2026. Further, the report stated, “Application security is now top-of-mind for developers and security professionals, and the emphasis is now turning to apps hosted in public clouds,” It is crucial to get the fundamental components of DevOps security correct. Here are the 12 tips to secure your mobile application: 

1. Install apps from trusted sources:

It’s common to have Android applications republished on alternate markets or their APKs & IPAs made available for download. Both APK and IPA may be downloaded and installed from a variety of places, including websites, cloud services, drives, social media, and social networking. Only the Play Store and the App Store should be allowed to install trustworthy APK and IPA files. To prevent utilizing these apps, we should have a source check detection (Play Store or App Store) upon app start.

Also read, https://andresand.medium.com/add-method-to-check-which-app-store-the-android-app-is-installed-from-or-if-its-sideloaded-c9f450a3d069

2. Root Detection:

Android: An attacker could launch a mobile application on a rooted device and access the local memory or call specific activities or intents to perform malicious activities in the application. 

iOS: Applications on a jailbroken device run as root outside of the iOS sandbox. This can allow applications to access sensitive data stored in other apps or install malicious software negating sandboxing functionality. 

More on Root Detection- https://owasp.org/www-project-mobile-top-10/2016-risks/m8-code-tampering

3. Data Storing:

Developers use Shared Preferences & User Defaults to store key-value pairs like tokens, mobile numbers, email, boolean values, etc. Additionally, while creating apps, developers prefer SQLite databases for structured data. It is recommended to store any data in the format of encryption so that it is difficult to extract the information by hackers.

4. Secure Secret Keys:

API keys, passwords, and tokens shouldn’t be hardcoded in the code. It is recommended to use different techniques to store these values so that hackers cannot get away quickly by tampering with the application. 

Here’s a reference link: https://guides.codepath.com/android/Storing-Secret-Keys-in-Android

5. Code Obfuscation

An attacker may decompile the APK file and extract the source code of the application. This may expose sensitive information stored in the source code of the application to the attacker which may be used to perform tailored attacks. 

It is better to obfuscate the source code to prevent all the sensitive information contained in the source code.

6. Secure Communication:

An attacker may perform malicious activities to leverage the level of attacks since all communication is happening over unencrypted channels. So always use HTTPS URLs over HTTP URLs.

7. SSL Pinning:

Certificate pinning allows mobile applications to restrict communication only to servers with a valid certificate matching the expected value (pin). Pinning ensures that no network data is compromised even if a user is tricked into installing a malicious root certificate on their mobile device. Any app that pins its certificates would thwart such phishing attempts by refusing to transmit data over a compromised connection

Please refer: 

https://owasp.org/www-community/controls/Certificate_and_Public_Key_Pinning

8. Secure API request & response data

The standard practice is to use HTTPS for the baseline protection of REST API calls. The information sent to the server or received from the server may be further encrypted with AES, etc. For example, if there are sensitive contents, you might choose to select those to encrypt so that even if the HTTPS is somehow broken or misconfigured, you have another layer of protection from your encryption.

9. Secure Mobile App Authentication:

In case an application does not assign distinct and complex session tokens after login to a user, an attacker can conduct phishing in order to lure the victim to use a custom-generated token provided by the attacker and easily bypass the login page with the captured session by using a MiTM attack.

i) Assign a distinct and complex session token to a user each time he/she logs on successfully to the application. 

ii) Terminate the session lifetime immediately after logging out. 

iii) Do not use the same session token for two or more IP addresses. 

iv) Limit the expiry time for every session token.

10.  Allow Backup 

Disallow users to back up an app if it contains sensitive data. Having access to backup files (i.e. when android:allowBackup=”true”), it is possible to modify/read the content of an app even on a non-rooted device. So it is recommended to make allow backup false. 

11. Restrict accessing android application screens from other apps

Ideally, your activities should not give any provision to the opening from other services or applications. Make it true only when you have a specific requirement to access your flutter screens from other apps otherwise change to android:exported= ”false”

12. Restrict installing packages from the android application

REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES permission allows apps to install new packages on a user’s device. We are committed to preventing abuse on the Android platform and protecting users from apps that self-update using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism or download harmful APKs.

Conclusion: 

Mobile Apps have become more personalized than ever before with heaps of customers’ personal data stored in them every day. In order to build trust and loyalty among users and prevent significant financial and credential losses for the companies, it is now crucial to make sure the application is secure for the user. Following the above-mentioned mobile app security checklists will definitely help to prevent hackers from hacking the app.

About the Author:

Raviteja Aketi is a Senior Software Engineer at Mantra Labs. He has extensive experience with B2B projects. Raviteja loves exploring new technologies, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

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