The FDA Agrees Hospitals Should Stop Using Hackable Drug Pumps

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Last month, we received the cool and totally non-alarming news that drug infusion pumps manufactured by Hospira could be easily hacked over a network. The company has stopped making the pumps, and now the FDA has concluded that yes, hospitals should probably stop using them too.

The FDA has issued a full statement on the issue, but the salient points come in these paragraphs:

Hospira and an independent researcher confirmed that Hospira’s Symbiq Infusion System could be accessed remotely through a hospital’s network. This could allow an unauthorized user to control the device and change the dosage the pump delivers, which could lead to over- or under-infusion of critical patient therapies. The FDA and Hospira are currently not aware of any patient adverse events or unauthorized access of a Symbiq Infusion System in a health care setting.

Hospira has discontinued the manufacture and distribution of the Symbiq Infusion System, due to unrelated issues, and is working with customers to transition to alternative systems. However, due to recent cybersecurity concerns, the FDA strongly encourages health care facilities to begin transitioning to alternative infusion systems as soon as possible.