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October 2011

Medical device security: Does IEC 80001 go far enough?

Up until now, the information security risks involved with medical applications had to do with privacy breaches of patient or billing information. There was the potential of an incorrectly entered data element or an element that was not sent correctly through a medical interface. HIPAA was enacted to ensure privacy and security risks were identified and managed, although some question its effectiveness. Today, the emergence of medical devices directly on a network introduces a new type of risk that hasn’t been seen before in health care information technology. As electronic medical records systems have been quickly adopted -- spurred by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2008 -- organizations developed a need to have certain patient data entered directly into the electronic medical record. The overwhelming task of entering all of the data was falling on clinicians, which could introduce human error into the process. As a result, medical equipment has started to sprout network jacks and wireless radios. Using the ...

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