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Protecting implantable medical devices against attack without compromising patient health requires balancing security and privacy goals with traditional goals such as safety and utility. Implantable medical devices monitor and treat physiological conditions within the body. These devices - including pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs), drug delivery systems, and neurostimulators - can help manage a broad range of ailments, such as cardiac arrhythmia, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease. IMDs' pervasiveness continues to swell, with upward of 25 million US citizens currently reliant on them for life-critical functions. Growth is spurred by geriatric care of the aging baby-boomer generation, and new therapies continually emerge for chronic conditions ranging from pediatric type 1 diabetes to anorgasmia and other sexual dysfunctions. Moreover, the latest IMDs support delivery of telemetry for remote monitoring over long-range, high-bandwidth wireless links, and emerging devices will communicate with other interoperating IMDs.
Date of Publication: Jan.-March 2008