More and more our lives are surrounded by, supported by and integrated with technology. There’s no denying it and no going back, we depend on computers for nearly everything. And unfortunately, computers can become compromised. Whether due to programming bugs or malicious hackers, the machines that we depend upon can grind to a halt or otherwise cause us harm.
What happens when the computer systems a hospital depends upon are hacked because they weren’t properly maintained or protected? Lives can be put at risk.
A recent article in Health IT Security website cites a report that “more than half of connected medical devices contain critical vulnerabilities.” It is the responsibility of hospitals to hire experts who understand these risks and who can update their devices properly so that security vulnerabilities don’t affect patients.
As leaders among Illinois medical malpractice lawyers, we take our understanding of the evolving role of technology as it affects medical outcomes seriously, which is why we wanted to shine a light on this potential vulnerability of the medical system.
Can Technology Problems Lead to Medical Malpractice?
Technological advances in medicine as applied to computerized medical records, artificial intelligence algorithms and systems that guide doctors can, in the best cases, increase the quality and duration of a patient’s life. However, along with this implementation of healthcare technology comes a reliance on it, and this is where otherwise preventable medical errors can happen.
The technology network referred to at the IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) creates a kind of medical internet that is a high-stakes target to hackers wishing to hold the lucrative medical community hostage – often with the lives of patients as the ransom. Devices such as infusion pumps, pacemakers and other appliances are used routinely with many patients, so a calibration glitch or a nefarious hack could mean that multitudes of patients will be affected.
Suddenly a new element of risk has entered the operating room that is trusted and relied upon by doctors and thus, more and more able to improve outcomes or, conversely, cause patient injuries.
We can see how our role as medical malpractice attorneys and product liability lawyers are coming together at the apex of medical technologies. Potential vulnerabilities, negligence and human errors can result in technology that falters when delivering the expected standard of care. As a personal injury law firm focusing on medical outcomes, we can see how failure to mitigate technological risks is now another element that can be addressed in malpractice suits.
We Hold Medical Professionals Accountable
With the greater reliance on technology by the medical community, it’s important to hire a proven lawyer who understands the risks and responsibilities of hospitals, nursing homes and medical device manufacturers.
We invite those in the Belleville, IL or St Clair County, IL area searching for medical injury attorney near me to contact us for a free initial consultation by calling: (618) 236-2221