Abbot laboratories withdraws 4,65,000 pacemakers to install a software update in the devices
Category: #world  By Dhananjay Punekar  Date: 2017-09-01
  • share
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

Abbot laboratories withdraws 4,65,000 pacemakers to install a software update in the devices

Abbott Laboratories, a key U.S. based player in the healthcare device manufacturing industry, has declared the withdrawal of 4,65,000 pacemakers to install a software update with a view to shield them against a potential set of vulnerabilities. The withdrawal is likely to impact six of its pacemaker prototypes, including Accent ST, Accent, Anthem, Accent MRI, Allure, and Assurity. The U.S. FDA put in a formal request to the firm for recalling all its pacemakers – a move that will necessitate patients fitted with the pacemakers to visit their medical practitioners or vice versa. As per reports from reliable sources, device users are advised to pay a visit to the hospital ASAP for updating their pacemakers with this novel software that will offer protection against premature battery drain, hackers, and cyber-attacks that alter programmed settings and device rhythms.

The U.S. FDA has studied the software operations and provided the green signal for its installation in the pacemakers after acknowledging the firmware’s ability to restrict the transmission of unencrypted information to the devices. The organization has also assured the end-users that the escalating deployment of software and wireless technologies in the medical equipment such as pacemakers will offer effective, apt, and fitting healthcare services.

In a letter to physicians, the U.S. portable medical devices market behemoth stated that the software update requires three minutes to download and install in the pacemaker, which operates in the backup mode during the period. According to the firm, pacemakers manufactured on 28th August 2017 will be equipped with the software update and patients are cautioned against physically replacing the new devices. This is the second such occasion during which the company has delivered an update pertaining to cybersecurity issues of its Merlin @ home devices. Earlier in 2016, the firm had installed a software update in the instruments to address its cybersecurity concerns after the complete purchase of St. Jude, which provided Abbott its pacemakers.

However, Abbott has cautioned the patients about the risks occurring during software updating, which includes total update failure, loss of program settings, device functionality loss, and diagnostic data loss. It has also warned the users of total functionality loss, though the figure is in minority - around 0.003%. To address the same, the firm has addressed the medical fraternity that patients who totally depend on pacemakers should be provided with temporary pacemakers and generators.

As per the discussions rampant in business circles, there is no news pertaining to cyberattacks targeting any equipment. The Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team has also claimed that it will take quite some expertise on the part of the hacker to hack the device due to the update installation.



About Author

Dhananjay Punekar

Email: dhananjay.p@news.marketsizeforecasters.com   

Dhananjay Punekar

Dhananjay Punekar presently develops content for a slew of portals, including Market Size Forecasters and Algosonline. A post graduate in mathematics and business administration, he worked in Infosys BPO Limited prior to switching his professional genre. As a content wr...

Read More

More News By Dhananjay Punekar

AstraZeneca gets import & marketing approval for Durvalumab in India
AstraZeneca gets import & marketing approval for Durvalumab in India
By Dhananjay Punekar

AstraZeneca Pharma India, a division of pharma & biopharma giant AstraZeneca plc, has received a green signal from the Indian drug regulating agency DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) for its drug Durvalumab c...

BP exits deal with Woolworths, retail firm looks out for alternatives
BP exits deal with Woolworths, retail firm looks out for alternatives
By Dhananjay Punekar

BP Plc, a UK based oil & gas firm, has decided to terminate its USD 1.8 billion acquisition deal with Australian retail giant Woolworths. For the record, the British oil & gas company had signed a pact to purch...

Sarepta obtains positive results on DMD therapy, shares skyrocket 50%
Sarepta obtains positive results on DMD therapy, shares skyrocket 50%
By Dhananjay Punekar

The shares of Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., a medical research & drug development firm, climbed up by 50% after the firm released initial results derived from clinical treatment on patients suffering from Duchenne mus...