Siemens to Offer First Virus Protection Solution in the Medical Sector -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine


Siemens AG, Medical Solutions

Siemens to Offer First Virus Protection Solution in the Medical Sector

Siemens Medical Solutions recently introduced its new Virus Protection program, a solution designed to handle all virus-related security matters in the medical device environment. It helps avoiding harm to the patient potentially caused by virus infected software that could delay or even foil diagnoses and treatment. The Siemens solution is the first one in the market to address this important issue for medical systems, significantly supporting our customers to keep their medical systems healthy, ultimately benefiting patient care.

The Virus Protection program has been developed and tested over the past year in Germany and the United States for systems based on syngo®, Siemens unique software platform for medical systems and applications. The program comprises three main components.

The first is a validated virus scanner from Trend Micro™ (Trend Micro, Inc., a global leader in antivirus and content security software and services) that works in the background, preventing the imaging system's primary function from slowing down, and it is automatically updated on a regular basis via a secure Internet connection. If a virus should nevertheless manage to get by the virus scanner and infect the system, it will run into the second component, a reliable virus elimination process. Expert Uptime Services staff stands ready to handle virus problems with highest priority to bring the system back running again fast.

The third component is a virus prevention tool. When Microsoft® sends out its hotfixes, update packages of files meant to solve a vulnerability in the operating system, Siemens assesses their security-relevance for their systems. If deemed relevant, Siemens comprehensively tests them and once validated, quickly transfers the hotfixes to the customer's system, which feature an external network connection.

Furthermore the Virus Protection program could prevent the customer from liability issues. Medical systems and software usually are subject to an official release procedure in a precisely defined hardware and software environment. If the user implements virus scanners or hotfixes that have not yet been officially released and approved by the manufacturer, a system's safety and efficacy can be significantly impacted. E.g., an unapproved virus scanner or a hotfix not soundly tested may dispose of or falsify genuine medical image data, which could lead to a string of negligence lawsuits as well. "Wrong alarms or sudden system crashes caused by updates must be prevented and eliminated through reliable testing”, says Gerd Schmidt, Vice President Quality and Technology, Siemens Medical Solutions. "That is why we at Siemens carefully validate all software updates for system compatibility prior to their remote distribution.”

Siemens Medical Solutions is one of the largest suppliers to the healthcare industry in the world. The company is known for bringing together innovative medical technologies, healthcare information systems, management consulting, and support services, to help customers achieve tangible, sustainable, clinical and financial outcomes. From imaging systems for diagnosis, to therapy equipment for treatment, to patient monitors to hearing instruments and beyond, Siemens innovations contribute to the health and well-being of people across the globe, while improving operational efficiencies and optimizing workflow in hospitals, clinics, home health agencies, and doctors' offices. Employing approximately 31,000 people worldwide and operating in more than 120 countries, Siemens Medical Solutions reported sales of 7.07 billion EUR, orders of 8.12 billion EUR and group profit of 1,05 billion EUR for fiscal 2004.

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