medical device : Java Glossary
- medical device
We are now learning to embed tiny computers inside people’s bodies. They can
do things such as:
- Pacemaker to control the rhythm of the heart.
- Defibrillator to restart the heart if the rhythm races.
- Control artificial limbs.
- Stop seizures.
- Cochlear implant to allow hearing when the auditory nerve is damaged.
- Artificial vision.
- Insulin pump.
- The code that drives these devices, like all computer code, has bugs. It is
proprietary. Only the device manufacturer can look for problems, fix them and
distribute them. This code should be open source so that anyone could proof read
- There is no security. Ordinary electric fields are used to manually control the
chip. Potentially some vandal could send a pattern to cause the chip to kill the
patient with a massive electric shock to the heart. This danger increase as these
chips are attached to the Internet for patient monitoring. Such chips need to have
passwords, private keys and encryption to block malicious brats. Happily, this has
not yet happened. Manufacturers are waiting until someone is killed before
implementing security. That will leave a terrifying window of vulnerability.
- If for any reason a company goes broke, or discontinues a model, it is still
installed in all kinds of living people. There is no longer any proprietary
expertise on how to control or disable it. We can’t afford proprietary