If you are a heart patient with a pacemaker, the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the mini computer that is inside each device.
Dr. Roque Arteaga, Cardiologist with C-V-A at Unity Point St. Lukes Hospital, says the FDA warning regards the possibility that a computer hacker could interfere with how the pacemaker functions:
OC……..is theoretical. :16
A hacker would have to be within the same room or nearby to be able to interfere with the pacemaker.
But as a precaution, the manufacturer has created anti-hacking software that you can download to insure against that possibility.
Dr. Arteaga warns that you should be at a heart clinic to have that procedure done, instead of trying to download the software yourself at home:
OC………at home. ;20
St. Luke’s Cardiovascular Associates would perform the download at no charge.
There have been no reports of pacemakers being hacked anywhere in the country, and the warning is being issued as a preventative measure.
The doctor says there is also a risk from downloading the software:
OC……..a theoretical possibility too. :20
Around 140 St. Luke’s patients are included in the pacemaker recall and letters will be sent to all of them explaining the situation.
The alert affects 465,000 pacemakers nationwide.