(Washington Post) The Food and Drug Administration is tightening standards for a wide range of medical devices — from fetal monitors used in hospitals to pacemakers implanted in people — because of escalating concerns that the gadgets are vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches that could harm patients.
Increasingly, officials said, computer viruses and other malware are infecting equipment such as hospital computers used to view X-rays and CT scans as well as devices in cardiac catheterization labs.The security breaches cause the equipment to slow down or shut off entirely, complicating patient care. As more devices operate on computer systems that are connected to each other, the hospital network and the Internet, the potential for problems rises dramatically, they said.
“Over the last year, we’ve seen an uptick that has increased our concern,” said William Maisel, deputy director of science and chief scientist at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The type and breadth of incidents has increased.” He said officials used to hear about problems only once or twice a year, but “now we’re hearing about them weekly or monthly.”…read full article