University of Minnesota, Optum, and other medical tech giants announce cybersecurity hub

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A group of leading medical device manufacturers have joined a new initiative to boost the security of their equipment amid “a growing number of cybersecurity threats.”

The University of Minnesota said its Center for Medical Device Cybersecurity would allow universities, government and industry to work together to help ensure the safety and security of increasingly advanced and connected medical devices.

The hub, which will combine the university’s capabilities in medical devices, engineering and cybersecurity, will be housed in the Technological Leadership Institute, an interdisciplinary center of the College of Science and Engineering. It will conduct research and development activities, as well as provide education and training for the medical device workforce.

The center was founded and funded primarily by five major medical device and healthcare companies with major operations in the Twin Cities region: Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Optum, and Smiths Medical.

“Cybersecurity for medical devices is essential to maintaining the trust consumers place in healthcare companies in the use of technology and in the protection of healthcare information,” said Allison Miller, Chief Security Officer Optum information. “By partnering with academic organizations, industry experts and our peers, we can help formulate cutting-edge policies, regulatory proposals and testing so that we not only support the long-term success of secure medical devices. , but also to protect patients who depend on medical devices for their treatment therapies. “

Katey Pelican of the university’s strategic partnerships and research collaboration will serve as the center’s interim director. The centre’s inaugural year will feature panel discussions and a hackathon, as well as networking and training opportunities. Officials also plan to launch a short course in medical device cybersecurity and a summer internship program.

Image Credit: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

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