FDA Expresses Concern over Cybersecurity for Hospira Medication Pump

FDA Expresses Concern over Cybersecurity for Hospira Medication Pump
Image: Pixabay
August 5, 2015

Cybersecurity risks are a growing cause for concern across many industries and health care is no exception.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned caregivers to stop using the Hospira Symbiq medication infusion pump as questions arise about its ability to prevent online attacks. This is the first time the FDA has recommended a product be taken out of use due to cybersecurity fears, according to the Star Tribune.

While there have not yet been any instances of security breaches, the FDA claims that hackers could infiltrate hospital networks to gain remote access to the computerized pumps. This would give the intruder the opportunity to change the amount of medication a patient can receive.

Hospira stopped making the Symbiq pumps in 2013 and believes most still in use will be replaced within the next three years. The company claims that its newer products feature sufficient safeguards against potential security cracks.

The FDA says that health care providers should disconnect all affected pumps and manually update their patients' drug schedules.

This network weakness is reminiscent of the recent issues for Fiat Chrysler, who issued a massive recall for several lines of its automobiles after potential cybersecurity breaches were discovered.