Abbott Issues the Second Round of Updates for Heart Implants

Publish Date : 2017-08-30

On Tuesday Abbott Laboratories said that they will soon come up with updates to notify patients that the batteries of the devices may drain earlier than anticipated and to decrease the hazard of its St. Jude heart implants being hacked.

Following the acquisition of medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical prior this year, it was the second round of updates that Abbott has announced for the heart implants.

Last year, the United States government released an investigation of claims that the devices were susceptible to potentially severe hacks that might cause implanted devices to fail by exhausting their batteries or make them pace at potentially risky rates.

Abbott Laboratories has also discovered a separate trouble last year with Li-batteries in its heart devices. In October, last year, St. Jude medical called back few of its 4 million implanted heart devices owing to the risk of battery exhaustion before expected time, which was connected to a couple of deaths in Europe.

Followed to that, the United States Food and Drug Administration suggested that hospitals must return the unused heart implant devices and advised the patients those have implanted device already to look for instantaneous medical consideration if they receive a battery related alert.

Candace Steele Flippin, who is spokeswoman for Abbott, said that Abbott is settling all previous St. Jude Medical issues.

The recent update will render physicians an earlier notice when the electric batteries in Abbott’s implantable cardioverter defibrillators are at early exhaustion risk.

Abbott Laboratories said that they would also bring an update of the software planted in pacemakers to decrease the hacking risk. They further said that there has been no news of unofficial admission to any patient’s implanted pacemaker and that conciliatory of the device security which might need a composite set of conditions.

The Food and Drug Administration said that they have permitted the update to make sure that it covers the cyber security exposures, and cuts down the risk of any hazard to patients.

In January the Department of Homeland Security and the Food and Drug Administration affirmed that St. Jude devices were susceptible to hacking. However, they said that they were aware of no cyber attacks on company’s cardiac implants in patients.

The Food and Drug Administration said that the benefits of persisting with treatment outbalanced cyber risks, and Department of Homeland Security said that only a highly skilled attacker could utilize the susceptibility of implants.

In August, they even released the investigation after cyber security firm MedSec Holdings and short-selling firm Muddy Waters said the pacemakers were penetrated with security faults that made them susceptible to potentially hacks which could be life-threatening.

When Muddy Waters firm published the claims, it has also revealed that St. Jude Medical sold itself to Abbott Laboratories, due to their falling shares. The short-selling firm disclosed that they believed that revelation of the susceptibilities could have collapsed the USD 25 billion deal, but Abbot Laboratories finished the deal in January this year.