Medical devices have been targets of hacking attacks for over a decade, physicians note in a paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The increasing popularity of devices using software and wireless communications has created a rising risk that hackers might reprogram devices to make them work improperly, interrupt the relay of information needed for doctors to monitor patients remotely, or prematurely drain the batteries, cardiologists write. “Like with so many rapidly evolving technologies, we haven’t even conceived many of the ultimate advantages of connected implanted devices,” said Dr. David Armstrong, Professor of Surgery at the University of Southern California.
“Certainly, the ability for a patient and his or her clinician to monitor status continuously will yield many more opportunities to personalize care and will also likely reduce time to treatment of acute or chronic events,” , says Armstrong. “There is absolutely no cause for panic,” Armstrong continued. “The added stress from worrying about having your device medjacked likely increases your risk for a heart attack a whole lot more than the risk itself.”
Source: Lisa Rapaport, Reuters Health [2/20/18]