While medical device network hacks have been prominent in the news for some time, counterfeit medical devices pose perhaps even a greater risk patient health.
For instance, in June of 2015 the Food and Drug Administration was part of a world wide effort to combat the online sale and distribution of potentially counterfeit and illegal medical products. The effort, called Operation Pangea VIII included 115 countries and resulted in over 2,400 websites being taken offline and the seizure of $81 million worth of potentially dangerous illegal medicines and medical devices worldwide. Detecting counterfeit devices can be difficult, which is why some manufacturers are working to create authentication methods that will detect bad pieces of hardware.
For instance, Accutronics, a UK based battery and charger design, development and manufacturing company is developing new features in its smart batteries and chargers that can help fight counterfeit batteries and their negative impact on medical devices. In their new line of batteries and chargers, Accutronics is incorporating SHA-1 encryption, which will serve as a verification marker of authenticity when inserted into a compatible device. Innovations like this will increasingly be necessary to ensure that buyers of medical devices are receiving the genuine article.
Avritek frequently works with medical device manufacturers to ensure that recalled, or compromised devices are destroyed so that they pose no risk.