Could your medical device be hacked?

If you are a fan of the “Fast and the Furious” franchise of movies, you may have marveled at how the villains were able to commander hundreds of cars simply by hacking them from an undisclosed location in the latest installment.

If a car’s ignition and guidance system can be compromised, is it really so far-fetched for people to be afraid of having their medical devices hacked? What may seem like pure movie magic (i.e. science fiction) could actually be reality.

According to a 2015 report, a number of health care devices that introduce medicines or regulate certain body functions could be hacked by cyber-terrorists. If a hacker can take control of the device and possibly disable it, a patient’s health and well being could be at risk.

To really understand how serious a threat this could be, consider that millions of people across the country rely on some sort of electronic device for their well-being. This includes infusion pumps,  pacemakers, and even cochlear implants.

What makes things potentially worse, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly known about these dangers for years, but has only issued guidelines to manufacturers to increase security to these devices. It is unknown whether medical device manufacturers actually follow these guidelines.

Nevertheless, if a manufacturer fails to adhere such guidelines, and a patient is injured as a result of a preventable hack, the manufacturer could be held liable.

If you have questions about your rights and options after being harmed by a defective medical device, an experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and advise you. 

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