Date Added: Apr 2009
The number and variety of wireless medical devices is growing rapidly, driven by the expansion of wireless communication technology and the medical needs of the aging US population. In 2008, two independent groups demonstrated how a defibrillator may be wirelessly attacked. An electromagnetic field enabled a wireless connection with the defibrillator from a distance of inches from the "Patient's" chest. However, it is far more likely that such devices will invite attacks because they are using the Internet as a communications backbone. Approximately 9700 patents have been issued, with many more pending, that describe an embodiment of wireless communication or wireless connectivity that could be vulnerable to attack or spurious disruption. To accompany them, there is a growing body of patents addressing medical device security.