Learn about cyber risks and the steps you need to take to protect your facility’s infusion pumps.
Infusion pumps control and deliver medication to patients using automation in hospitals, clinics, and medical centers. An infusion pump’s ability to measure and transfer precise medication doses to patients is what makes them indispensable in healthcare facilities.
However, in “Infusion Pump Vulnerabilities Point to Gaps in Medical Device Security,” on healthitsecurity.com, author Jill McKeon highlights that, “from 2005 through 2009, FDA received approximately 56,000 reports of adverse events associated with the use of infusion pumps, including numerous injuries and deaths” according to the FDA’s website. Since then, technology has made incredible progress.
So have cybercriminals.
McAfee, one of the largest cybersecurity companies in North America, actively researches gaps in medical device security that enable cybercriminals to administer incorrect doses of medications to patients. They found that although some of these adverse events could be attributed to human error, some safety risks seem to stem from deficiencies in device design and engineering, including cybersecurity threats. Meaning, what once sounded like a sci-fi movie storyline has now become reality.
The article highlights that hackers have the ability to alter medication dosages for patients, enabling cybercriminals to infiltrate the actual software within a medical device. These incorrect dosages, which could lead to fatality, could easily be attributed to medical device malfunction, making it hard to pinpoint the true cause of the error.
Currently, ransomware attacks caused by malware that holds patient or organization information for ransom are the most common cybersecurity threats within the healthcare industry. Since the uptake, hospitals have scaled up their cybersecurity network protection systems in their IT departments.
What steps is your facility taking to protect your infusion pumps?
Though the onus is on OEMs to build comprehensive cybersecurity into their equipment, your facility can monitor its infusion pumps through preventative maintenance and repair to ensure the utmost safety for your patients.
For over 35 years, AIV has been helping Biomedical and Clinical Engineering professionals extend the life of their equipment, offering several lines of new and recertified replacement parts for infusion pumps and fetal monitoring equipment. We also have a full-service repair depot at our Harmans, Maryland facility to handle all of your infusion pump, Tram/MMS module, telemetry transmitter, and fetal transducer repairs.
If you’re due for repairs or have questions about your facility’s infusion pumps, contact us today.
About the Author
Laura Collier has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida. She is the Marketing Manager at AIV, Inc.