Remote, Telehealth-Driven World Poses New Concerns for Medical Device Security

MedTech Intelligence

Bill Enos

Increased use of telehealth, forced by the global COVID-19 pandemic, arrived at a time when heightened connectivity of medical devices to computer networks and a convergence of technologies already exposed devices and software applications to a variety of threats. The need to protect patient data from cyberattacks is well understood, but the potential risks from such hacking for clinical care and patient safety haven’t been addressed adequately by healthcare organizations, regulators and medical device manufacturers.

The inherent security risk with medical devices is that they can potentially expose both data and control of the device itself to attack. This exposure creates a tension between safety and security, which requires greater stakeholder collaboration to address, particularly in design and regulatory approaches. Put simply, medical device engineering has focused on medical safety for patients but has not sufficiently dealt with cybersecurity for the devices, despite some innovation.

In the age of telemedicine and increased cybersecurity risk...

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