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.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.