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The Newest Concern In Defective Medical Devices: Software Programs That Hack

Posted on in Defective Medical Devices

Medical devices often get a lot of press when they malfunction, and rightly so: the impacts of a defective device are far-reaching and produce lifelong problems for the victim patients. Until recently, very little attention was given to the privacy related to these devices, until a New Zealand man showed how simple it was to hack an insulin pump.

Barnaby Jack was able to hack into an insulin pump from 300 feet away, wirelessly ordering the machine to deliver a lethal dose of insulin to a mannequin. Insulin pumps aren't the only medical devices suspected of security weaknesses; until he passed away, Jack was scheduled to shock a pacemaker at another conference in Las Vegas. Luckily for the makers of these medical devices, Jack was able to show that weaknesses exist without harming any real patients. Put into the wrong hands, however, these hacking skills could compromise the health and life of a patient before the patient even realizes what is happening.

Even if a medical device otherwise works flawlessly, the lack of proper security is a complete downfall in the overall system, since a patient can suffer dramatic problems, including death. Jack's work points out that at a bare minimum, medical device companies should look into providing greater safety protocols for the products that serve millions of Americans around the world. Such an exposed weakness could be catastrophic and present a myriad of legal problems. Over time, the technology in medical devices has provided many incredible benefits to patients, but if all those benefits simply leave a patient exposed to a hack, companies must invest in studying these issues.

The investment in research and development of safety protocols and awareness of these devices could prove to be critical in whether these devices help or hurt patients. If you or a loved one has been hurt by a medical device, you need the guidance of a Chicago personal injury attorney.

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