Software-based medical devices enable fast product-development cycles, constructive information sharing, and configurable therapy delivery, resulting in better patient outcomes overall. An unfortunate drawback is that software is complicated and difficult to maintain correctly. Devices with inadequate software maintenance may pose operational risks to network security and patient safety and privacy. This paper describes a noninvasive approach to medical-device monitoring that can address some of the shortcomings of conventional approaches.

Protecting software-based medical devices from malware infections or network-based mischief is a growing concern for clinical engineers and healthcare information technology (IT) practitioners. Unlike desktop PCs and laptops, medical devices often lack support for antivirus systems or operating-system patches, despite running off-the-shelf operating systems and commercial third-party software. Manufacturers have cited previous regulatory approval as a reason not to support software updates [1], despite the Food and Drug Administration's clarifications to the contrary [2].

Medical devices are...

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