More and more medical devices are getting more sophisticated and connected to each other through the internet, hospital networks, other medical devices and smartphones.
While “smart” health information technology helps improve patient care and reduces errors, it comes with cybersecurity risks that could affect the safety and security of your medical device.
Cybersecurity issues have been found in certain medical devices according the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirming that some medical devices can be at risk for cybersecurity intrusions and exploits.
The FDA recommends that medical device manufacturers identify any risks or hazards and find ways to mitigate any issues their medical devices may have, including cybersecurity risks. Health care facilities and hospitals should evaluate their network security and protect their hospital systems.
In a recent case where cybersecurity risk was confirmed in a medical device, a software patch was created to address the vulnerability, and health care providers were encouraged to remind patients to keep their device connected so that it could maintain the latest software and updates.
In addition to keeping them connected, there are other ways to be smart in using and securing your medical devices. Before you even go home with your device, be sure to talk to your doctor and address any concerns you may have. Make sure that the device works properly and that you know how to use it. This includes knowing how to configure your device so that it is secure as possible.
Be aware if your medical device uses radio frequency, then common household devices like computers or cell phones may interfere with the device’s signal and its ability to work properly.
If your device connects to wireless networks, make sure yours has a strong, unique password and don’t share it. Do not connect your device to public Wi-Fi.
When you are in public places with your medical device, make sure that you maintain physical control over it. If you have cybersecurity issues with your device, report them to your provider.
Finally, if you no longer need your medical device, then delete all the information you have stored on it before getting rid of it, where applicable.
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