Medical Device Cybersecurity Center Launches in Minnesota

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The University of Minnesota has announced a new center that aims to ensure that medical devices are safe and secured against cybersecurity threats. 

The Center for Medical Device Cybersecurity (CMDC) was created after members of the medical device manufacturing industry called for a collaborative hub to facilitate discovery, outreach, and workforce training in device security. 

CMDC will foster university-industry-government collaborations focusing on developing new education and training, technologies, and research to address potential threats to the cybersecurity of medical devices. 

Collaborators already signed up to work with the CMDC include the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, the Technological Leadership Institute, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Earl E. Bakken Medical Devices Center.

"Cultivating innovative and transformational partnerships, like the CMDC, is a core focus of MPact 2025, our new systemwide strategic plan," said University of Minnesota president Joan Gabel. "I'm excited about how this new innovative center will enhance the security of our state's thriving medtech sector and beyond."

The Technological Leadership Institute (TLI), an interdisciplinary center at the University of Minnesota that is sited within the College of Science and Engineering, will house the new CMDC.

"The center aligns perfectly with our mission and merges the expertise within our Medical Device Innovation and Security Technologies masters programs," said TLI director Allison Hubel. 

"While manufacturers can ensure a high level of safety through testing, the security of connected devices remains a growing and moving target, making this collaboration and the work of the CMDC critical to the industry and all those it serves."

Plans for the center's first year include a hackathon, roundtables, organizing networking and training opportunities, implementing a medical device cybersecurity short course that TLI will launch this fall, and establishing a medical device cybersecurity internship program. 

Health industry companies Boston Scientific, Smiths Medical, Optum, Medtronic, and Abbott Laboratories provided much of the funding for the CMDC.

The United States remains the largest medical device market globally, with 40% of the global medical device market (valued at $156bn) in 2017. By 2023, the medical device market in the US is expected to grow to $208bn.

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