UA medical school stages hack to raise physician cybersecurity awareness

The University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix simulated a hospital hack as part of its June Summit on Medical Device Hacking, reports UANews.

Jeff Tully, MD, and Christian Dameff, MD — recent graduates from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix and self-proclaimed hackers — organized a staged hack to demonstrate the vulnerabilities within a hospital system, according to ABC.

The researchers examined physician responses after replicating calcium overdoses, pacemaker malfunctions and unauthorized insulin doses on three critical mock patients at the medical school's simulation center. Anything "plugged in" — connected to Wi-Fi or not — is susceptible to a hack, Dr. Tully explained to ABC.

The physicians, who were not aware of the hack, managed to save all the mock patients.

Dr. Tully and Dr. Dameff told ABC they will continue to educate physicians of connected medical device security risks. "[Medical devices] are good for patients and we don't want people turning away from the promise that these type of technology have," said Dr. Tully.

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