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Villarreal & Begum September 10, 2019

Could Your Medical Device Be Hacked?

hacking

Technology is advancing rapidly in today’s world. Needless to say, our advances in technology are affecting our healthcare. New inventions and medical products make treating and diagnosing issues easier than ever. Many of these devices are hooked up to the internet. Some admit a single so that your healthcare provider can easily retrieve necessary data or adjust your device. While this makes our lives more convenient and delivers better quality care, we have to ask ourselves what are the risks associated with these new treatments? That answer came last year when the FDA announced efforts to strengthen medical device cybersecurity to prevent hacking.

But what devices can be hacked? What most people don’t know is that some medical devices allow for wireless connections to be established. Much like how your phone can connect to wifi, a hacker can simply connect to your medical device. An example of this is some of the Medtronic MiniMed insulin pumps. They were recalled after it was discovered how vulnerable the devices are. An attacker could easily connect to the device, since it had little to no security, and control your insulin pump directly. A hacker could simply instruct your pump to over-deliver your insulin to make the user hypoglycemic, or cut off insulin completely, leading to diabetic ketoacidosis.

But that pump was quickly recalled. Someone could easily get a new pump and be back to normal with no risks, right? While that’s true to an extent, that’s not the only device that could be tampered with. The FDA has also recalled pacemakers and learning that hackers could easily modify program commands. Something that could easily kill someone with a heart condition. In response, the FDA is focusing on cybersecurity readiness. While there have been no reports of someone hacking into a medical device yet, the threat is still present and needs to be addressed before someone is harmed from the manufacturer’s negligence to take security into account.

Have You Been Harmed From a Dangerous Medical Device?

If you have been injured from a harmful medical product? Dangerous drugs and medical devices harm thousands of people each year. If you have been injured due to a pharmaceutical or medical manufacturers negligence, you need an attorney to recover damages for the pain and suffering you have experienced. Villarreal and Begum know exactly how to fight these companies to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at our office or contact us online. We are available day and night to set up your free consultation.