Owners of implantable defibrillators beware: Computer hackers can attack the devices that control your heartbeat. The Wall Street Journal reports that a physician and some computer scientists proved that it’s possible to hack into a Medtronic Maximo, an implantable cardiodefibrillator. The implantable devices are used to manage tachyarrhythmia, a cardiac ailment that involves rapid beating of the heart.
Like many other such devices, the Maximo can be programmed via RF signals from outside the body – a process that’s good for patients because doctors can access the implanted devices without cutting through the patient’s skin. By hacking into them, however, outsiders could potentially steal medical data or affect the performance of the devices.
The Chicago Auto Show has long been a haven for truck introductions, and this year’s edition was no exception. Chevrolet, Nissan, and Toyota all showed off new trucks, while competitors rolled out concept cars and production vehicles.
A tiny new MEMS-based reed switch may enable engineers to reduce the size of the electronic circuitry in devices ranging from ingestible endoscopes and hearing aids to insulin delivery systems and brake fluid monitors.
Visitors to this year's Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show will have an opportunity to boost their electronics acumen, thanks to a series of Learning Labs covering topics ranging from medical sensors to smart packaging.