Will Hackers Start Shutting Down Heart Monitors?
Well according to a report released by the FDA on Monday they will at least have the opportunity to do so. This actually is a serious issue that healthcare providers will have to combat.
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The report finds that the devices are vulnerable to hacks which could allow someone other than the patient’s physician, to remotely access a patient’s RF-enabled implanted cardiac device and they could administer of inappropriate pacing or shocks.
From the FDA:
Many medical devices—including St. Jude Medical’s implantable cardiac devices—contain configurable embedded computer systems that can be vulnerable to cybersecurity intrusions and exploits. As medical devices become increasingly interconnected via the Internet, hospital networks, other medical devices, and smartphones, there is an increased risk of exploitation of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, some of which could affect how a medical device operates.
The FDA has reviewed information concerning potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with St. Jude Medical’s [email protected] Transmitter and has confirmed that these vulnerabilities, if exploited, could allow an unauthorized user, i.e., someone other than the patient’s physician, to remotely access a patient’s RF-enabled implanted cardiac device by altering the [email protected] Transmitter. The altered [email protected] Transmitter could then be used to modify programming commands to the implanted device, which could result in rapid battery depletion and/or administration of inappropriate pacing or shocks.
St. Jude rejected in August that their monitors can be hacked.