The hack-able body: Are device makers doing enough to shield patients from hackers?

March 7, 2012 by Arezu Sarvestani

The threat that the fusion of humans and medical machines may leave patients vulnerable to the hackers and bugs of the digital world is beginning to resonate with device makers.

Laptop image

Karen Sandler was 31 years old, working at a non-profit organization providing free legal help to computer programmers, when she was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and informed that she'd need a machine to help keep her alive.

Her mother accompanied her the day a doctor recommended that Sandler undergo surgery to implant a medical device into her chest. He handed Sandler a pager-sized machine called a cardioverter defibrillator – a miniature, implantable equivalent of having EMTs follow her around all day with defibrillator paddles should her heart stop.

Get the complete picture with a MassDevice Plus membership. Registered users can login here.

Comments

Features

Integrity Applications looks beyond optical sensors with its GlucoTrack Model DF-F, which uses ultrasonic, electromagnetic and thermal technology to measure physiological changes associated with blood glucose levels.

Former NBA player Jonathan Bender tries his hand at entrepreneurship, aiming to bring the physical therapy device he invented to the U.S. market.

Battelle engineering manager Melissa Masters tells MassDevice.com how insights ranging from national security to aeronautics can inform the creation of disruptive new medical devices.

The special sauce in contract research organization Ora Inc.'s recipe for ophthalmology trials is the eye care practice its founder started 30 years ago.

Animal rights advocacy group PETA holds a tiny stake in several medtech companies, taking frequent advantage of its shareholder rights to push changes in the way device makers experiment on animals.

Built on an AdaptiveTheme using Drupal by Michael Knapp  mknapp