Pacemakers Being Recalled to Avoid Being Hacked

Pacemakers Being Recalled to Avoid Being Hacked

Matthew Moskowitz, Journalist

This week the US Food and Drug Administration announced that around half a million pacemakers are to be recalled in order to avoid the possibility of being hacked in the United States alone. In order to prevent the hacking of 465,000 pacemakers, they need to have their firmware systems updated. By updating each of the pacemaker’s firmware systems, there would consequently be no need for the company to recall half a million devices. The manufacturer of the affected pacemakers is St. Jude Medical.

 

The US FDA made a statement this week stating that any device that is able to connect to Wi-Fi or the internet is able to be hacked by programmers. While connecting to the internet seems like a bad thing, but it can also allow “safer and more convenient healthcare.” But the decision is up to the patients. This recent problem has actually happened before with St. Jude Medical’s pacemaker devices that have potential to be hacked. A similar warning was announced by the FDA earlier in January, stating that the implants could be exploited to irregular pacing or shocks. So unless the patients want their pacemakers to get hacked by random people in the basements, they should consult with their doctors to decide what they should do.