The artificial pancreas is one the most promising developments in the treatment of type 1 diabetes. But the way that it functions – on platforms such as laptops, smartphones, and over wireless networks – poses a number of cybersecurity risks, according to new research.
The study, called “Cybersecurity in Artificial Pancreas Experiments,” argues that cybersecurity risks associated with the artificial pancreas have not been properly considered. There are, the study argues, several vulnerabilities in current artificial pancreas systems. If these vulnerabilities were exploited, artificial pancreas users could lose personal information, or have their device tampered with.
There is also the risk of malware affecting the artificial pancreas, which could impede its function. Because of the nature of the artificial pancreas’s work, it is vital that it operates as well as it possibly can. If cybersecurity threats are not properly taken into account, there could be serious consequences.
The authors of the study suggest that more emphasis be placed on the cybersecurity of the artificial pancreas system. Manufacturers should provide a more consistent report of the performance of the artificial pancreas during testing.
“As the technology keeps advancing, we have to be vigilant about interference with medical devices, especially those that automatically control insulin infusion in the artificial pancreas,” said Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics Editor-in-Chief Satish Garg.

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