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Dayton startup company working to curb hacking of medical devices


UPDATE @ 6:25 p.m.: Hannah Hays of Dayton has been in the hospital before, but she never realized the devices used to treat her could have been hacked. 

"It's very scary, especially because being in the hospital is a very vulnerable time for someone," said Hays. 

Dayton startup MediTechSafe is working to stop the growing danger of medical device hacking. 

There were more than 100 medical devices pinpointed as vulnerable in the last year alone, according to MediTechSafe founder and C.E.O. Pranav Patel. 

"My family could be impacted, your family could be impacted -- so solving something that has a purpose tied to it is really a driving factor," said Patel. 

Related: Some medical devices vulnerable to hackers

The main threat is ransomware, in which criminals hack into and hold medical devices and data hostage, forcing hospitals to pay. 

Each device can be attacked up to nine different ways from unsecured data transfer to open USB ports, Patel said. 

The hacks could potentially change dosages and stop treatments -- the risk to just one patient is staggering. 

"You could be exposed to 190 different ways of being impacted," said Patel. 

MediTechSafe assesses risks and vulnerable devices, and creates a plan of action for hospitals. 

Dayton Entrepreneur Center President Scott Koorndyk said it's great to see this potentially life-saving company develop in the Miami Valley. 

"It's exciting because it's not only a national problem and an international problem, but it's going to have real local applicability as well, said Koorndyk. 

According to Patel, MediTechSafe will begin to be rolled out in hospitals next month and the company plans to add more than 140 jobs in four years.

EARLIER 

In May 2017, News Center 7 brought you an investigation that highlighted vulnerabilities in insulin pumps, pacemakers and medical databases. 

There were more than 100 medical devices pinpointed as potentially hackable last year alone, according to Dayton-based startup MediTechSafe. 

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray. 


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