Bradley Merrill Thompson Quoted in an Article About Hacking Mobile Devices

FDA Week

Bradley Merrill Thompson, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "mHealth Advocates Downplay Hacking Risk After Lawmaker Inquiry."

Following is an excerpt:

Mobile medical device advocates contend hacking is not a major risk for these products after two lawmakers asked the Government Accountability Office to assess whether government agencies are identifying challenges and risks posed by these new products, although a group examining the security of medical devices counters that data measuring the hacking risk doesn't exist, and the proliferation of networked medical devices could pose a significant problem that must be managed across the healthcare system.

The industry response comes after Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA), senior members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent the GAO a letter Aug. 15, asking Congress' investigative arm to conduct a review of the Federal Communications Commission's actions in regard to wireless medical devices, including how it coordinates its activities with FDA. The letter was sent following media reports of a diabetic patient who was able to reprogram his insulin pump so it could respond to deliver insulin from a stranger's remote control.

"[Hacking] hasn't occurred and I think the fact that it did occur apparently woke some people up," said Bradley Merrill Thompson, general counsel of the mHealth Regulatory Coalition. But, he said, firewalls and other security measures can be put in place to reduce the risk of hacking and aren't "such a big impediment that industry won't be able to deal with it."