Schmitt Law Firm, LLC - Kansas City personal injury attorneys

Worried your medical device could get hacked? 3 tips to avoid injury.

It seems like something out of a science fiction movie - the main character in the midst of making a major decision clutches his chest and keels over. It appears he had a heart attack, but further examination reveals that the main character of this story had a medical device that was hacked by his arch nemeses. The arch nemeses gained access to the medical device and caused the heart attack, diabetic shock or other medical emergency.

Shocking and unbelievable as this scenario may seem, this plotline could soon be a reality.

Fiction becomes reality: J&J issues warning of potential for injury

A recent news release by Johnson & Johnson outlines how this script could easily be a reality. The release discusses one specific medical device, the Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump. According to the release, this device has some security flaws that leave it vulnerable to hackers.

Tips to avoid injury: Three tips that can apply to similar medical devices

The mega-manufacturer offers a few tips to help avoid a hacking incident resulting in serious injury. Although designed specifically for this device, the tips could easily apply to other medical devices with similar capabilities. These tips include:

  • Add an alert. These devices can include an alert that informs the user when it is about to administer a drug or take another action. For this insulin pump, a vibration can be triggered to alert the user.
  • Go offline. Some devices have radio frequency transmitters. In some cases, these can be shut off.
  • Set limits. Limit the amount of drug given at any one time. In this specific device, that means limiting the amount of insulin given at once.

Anyone that has a device and is considering applying any of these tips should consult with their physician before making any changes.

When injury happens: Steps for victims to find relief

Unfortunately, even when these steps are taken injuries can happen. In these situations, victims can hold responsible parties accountable for the injuries caused by these devices. This can be done in a number of ways, including through the use of a personal injury lawsuit. This type of lawsuit can result in monetary awards which can help cover the costs associated with the injury.

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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.