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Wearable Device to Detect Potential Interference or Unauthorized Access Attempts to Implanted Medical Devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000178330D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Jan-22
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Jan-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The present invention is a wearable device that provides patients with a warning when they may be at risk of harm by interference with or unauthorized access to their implanted medical device. The present invention works with implanted medical devices that utilize RF for communication (sending/receiving data) or programming (e.g., adjustment of settings), such as those that employ the Medical Implant Communications Service (MICS) in the 402-405 MHz frequency range. Examples of implanted medical devices relevant to the present invention include implanted heart monitors, pacemakers, implanted defibrillators, and implanted medicine delivery pumps.


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Wearable Device to Detect Potential Interference or Unauthorized Access Attempts to Implanted Medical Devices

The present invention comprises a wearable device to detect potential interference with or unauthorized access attempts to implanted medical devices.

Implanted medical devices can receive interference from various RF sources, causing them to malfunction and possible harm to the patient.

Implanted medical devices that are wireless enabled allow for doctors to monitor their patient's health by downloading data from the patient's implanted medical device and for doctors to issue commands to their patient's implanted medical device to adjust settings as necessary. Presently, most wireless enabled implanted medical devices lack sufficient security controls to prevent someone from issuing commands to a wireless enabled implanted medical device that may cause the patient harm. Additionally, an attacker can download a patient's personal information might be downloaded from a wireless enabled implanted medical device that lacks sufficient security controls.

While it is possible to engineer implanted medical devices that address security and privacy requirements, there are already many implanted medical devices in use today that lack necessary security controls, and these same medical devices may continue to be implanted in patients for the foreseeable future.

Summary


The present invention is a wearable device that provides patients with a warning when they may be at risk of harm by interference or unauthorized access to their implanted medical device.

Description


The wearable device is an RF receiver that scans for frequencies that are known to cause interference with a given patient's implanted medical device. Frequencies used to access a patient's particular wireless enabled implanted medical device are also scanned; if these specific frequencies are detected, the content of the signal is inspected for protocols that may be attempting to access the patient's wireless enabled implanted medical device.

Patients are notified by the invention (via alerts, see below) of the risk level they face based on what the RF receiver detects.

Examples:


Detection of a RF sig...