If you have a loved one in hospital, or going in yourself soon, you might not want to read this.
It's not just microscopic viruses that hospitals need to be worried about. Computer viruses are turning out to be a real problem too.
According to Kevin Fu, an expert on medical device security and a computer scientist at the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts, as medical equipment is increasingly connected to PCs — especially those running Windows — the devices themselves are vulnerable to computer viruses.
The problem is made worse by the fact that most of the medical equipment is hooked up to systems running old versions of Windows that the hospitals aren’t allowed to modify or upgrade. Even adding antivirus protection is forbidden as it could breach U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations.
The problem is so bad that systems have to be taken offline regularly — sometimes as often as weekly — to remove the malware.