Using heartbeats as passwords to secure medical devices

  • 26 September 2013
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It is time to start thinking of our hearts as random number generators. That's so they can serve as passwords to secure medical devices that are vulnerable to hacking, researchers at Rice University have proposed.

In their paper on the authentication technique - called Heart-to-Heart (H2H) - the researchers note that the use of implantable medical devices (IMDs) is growing in the US: for example, each year, over 100,000 patients receive implantable cardioverter defibrillators that detect dangerous heart rhythms and administer electric shocks to restore normal activity.

Other IMDs - a category that includes devices either partially or fully implanted into patients' bodies - include pacemakers, neurostimulators, and insulin or other drug pumps.
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This topic has come up in other discussions and it is great to see that action is being taken.

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