U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – FDA called patients to update the firmware in their pacemakers.
All medical devices are now integrated with internet / connected to the hospital networks to track the patient health and track their activities towards health improvement. But now there is a vulnerability available in the Pacemakers which is implanted in the heart require firmware upgrade. Which in-turn scare the patients and public on upgrading the firmware which is already implanted
St. Jude Medical’s implantable cardiac pacemakers contains configurable embedded computer systems that can be vulnerable to cyber-security intrusions and exploits.
FDA performed the complete review and confirmed if the vulnerability is exploitable and if it’s success:
- Implanted pacemaker commands can be modified
- Rapid battery depletion can occur
- In-appropriate pacing can happened in the installed pacemaker
The pacemaker firmware update provides an additional layer of security for your pacemaker. This planned update is intended to prevent anyone other than your doctor from changing your device settings. Abbott is not aware of any reports of unauthorized access to any patient’s implanted pacemaker. Abbott continues to SJM-CRM-0817-0092 | Item approved for U.S. use. make our products more secure for customers and patients, including with this series of planned system updates.
Keeping patient safety in measure all the patients are recalled to do the firmware upgrade
Post firmware upgrade if any of the hackers tried to communicate to the pacemaker that will be asking for authorization
Firmware upgrade available from Aug-29, it’s available now. All the Pacemakers post Aug-29 manufactured comes along with preloaded firmware update.
What Firmware update’s:
- Reloading of previous firmware version due to incomplete update (0.161 percent),
- Loss of currently programmed device settings (0.023 percent),
- Loss of diagnostic data (none reported), or complete loss of device functionality (0.003 percent).
Every patient requested to discuss with their physician whether they want to upgrade the pacemaker
The pacemaker devices to which this update applies include the RF telemetry versions of the following devices outside of the U.S.: Accent SR RF™, Accent ST™, Accent MRI™, Accent ST MRI™, Assurity™, Assurity +™, Assurity MRI™, Accent DR RF™, Anthem RF™, Allure RF™, Allure Quadra RF™, Quadra Allure MP RF™, Quadra Allure™, and Quadra Allure MP™. We are communicating with regulators to implement the update globally.
Still there is no official report of unauthorized access to the pacemakers, but to avoid further intrutions the patient requested to update their pacemakers
The firmware update process is described in Abbott’s Dear Doctor Letter issued on August 28, 2017
FDA asked to discuss with patients and provide them the Abbott’s Patient Guide. for their understanding
World is getting crazy after knowing even implanted Pace makers are hack-able nowadays. IOT Security & Medical security become vital and there is no compromise in human life