Risk to Otolaryngologic Devices
Although no known vulnerability risk has been detected in medical devices used in otolaryngology, such as cochlear implants and hearing aids, the potential exists for such vulnerability.
“Any medical device that can be connected through wired or wireless means to an external device, typically for the purpose of changing control settings, can conceivably be hacked,” said Stephen L. Grimes, managing partner at medical technology consulting firm Strategic Healthcare Technology Associates, based in Swampscott, Mass. “The external device might be a controller, a computer, a thumb drive, or other remote storage device,” he added.
To date, however, no specific cybersecurity concerns have been reported for devices used by otolaryngologists, and concern over this issue is not yet widespread among the specialty, according to Kenneth H. Lee, MD, PhD, chair of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) Medical Devices and Drugs Committee.