This is why medical devices are so expensive, the copious levels protection. When it comes to lives at risk, everything should be considered for testing. I'm not a big advocate of IP protection, but foreign companies are always looking to copy top-dollar products.
Alan, I'm curious how important it is to have a secure operating system for some of these medical devices. We often see operating systems decribed in terms of levels or security -- what level of security should designers aspire to?
Interesting article - the layered strategy makes good sense as well as not advertising any specifics about the security methods that are in place. A lot of what was said applies to technology in general as well. Too bad we can't direct the energy and innovation that must be used to make products secure to enhance perofrmance instead. Malicious attacks on medical devices is a sad statement of our society - but then, I have never understood why so many hackers waste so much time and energy to cause problems when they could direct their abilities towards doing good and contributing to society with their accomplishments...
The high cost of medical devices is due in part to a longer history of liability problems than of leaked data, a much more recent concern. Other factors like very high performance and the high cost of middlemen no doubt contribute yet more cost. But I think Cabe's point about leaked data is a good one--that's probably going to be a contributing factor to higher device costs in the near future.
From a patient safety standpoint, I'm not as concerned with the pirating of medical information as I am about a hacker who infiltrates the medical device with malicious intent. I think we should consider ways to mitigate hacker risk if a medical device is connected to a network and could be vulnerable to an attack on its operating system (where applicable).
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
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