“Connected” Medical Devices Are Vulnerable to Hackers, Creating Deadly Risks for Patients
We’re becoming increasingly reliant on computers for just about every aspect of our lives. In many ways, this represents an improvement in performance for many of the devices we use. However, cybersecurity risks also represent a serious danger to us, and when it involves a medical device, the consequences can be potentially fatal.
Recently, the FDA issued a warning that the Symbiq Infusion System, a pump created by Hospira to deliver medicine to patients, can be vulnerable to getting hacked by someone who gains access to the hospital’s computer network. In this scenario, the hacker would be able to change the dosage of medicine delivered by the pump. Depending on the type of medicine being delivered, an over- or under-infusion of the drug can potentially be fatal.
The FDA has “strongly” urged medical professionals to discontinue using these pumps. In addition, Hospira has stopped manufacturing these defective medical devices and is currently in the process of taking them off the market. To date, there haven’t been any reports of one of these pumps being compromised by a hacker, but the potential for someone to alter your medication dose from the Internet is still downright frightening.
This isn’t the first time the FDA has issued a warning about cybersecurity issues related to Hospira medication pumps. In addition, the medical device manufacturer has come under fire for its response to these issues, which have largely been focused on getting hospitals to purchase updated versions of the vulnerable pumps rather than actually correcting the issues with the pumps currently on the market so that they won’t be susceptible to a hacker.
Unfortunately, this isn’t only a problem affecting Hospira medical devices. Any manufacturer using computers with their medical devices may potentially be vulnerable to hackers, and it’s crucial that they have processes in place to patch and update the security of these devices.
If you’ve been injured by a defective medical device that was breached by a hacker, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your damages. Todd Tenge has more than two decades of experience handling defective product cases, and he’ll fight aggressively to help you maximize the value of your compensation.
Please contact the Tenge Law Firm using the form at the top of the page or call (303) 502-5587 today to schedule your free defective product consultation. Mr. Tenge serves clients in Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins, Colorado.
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