Medical devices aren't just any old pieces of technology. Lives depend upon them. For that reason, the government outlined a process decades ago by which manufacturers and importers were supposed to report malfunctions. But there was one problem: When malfunctions occurred, the manufacturers and importers did not admit it. According to the Food and Drug Administration, "A 1986 General Accounting Office (GAO) study showed that less than one percent of device problems occurring in hospitals are reported to FDA, and the more serious the problem with a device, the less likely it was to be reported."
Here's the scenario: You're a famed prosecutor who happens to be on an insulin pump. One of the criminals you put away years ago has been released from prison, and he's eager for revenge. This is a particularly cunning criminal, so he hatches a subtle plan. He hacks into your insulin pump, giving you a massive dose of insulin without warning. As you drive to work one day, you begin to feel woozy. That's odd, you think, looking down to where the pump attaches to your stomach. I just ate....
Scientific studies -- and our own common sense -- tell us that staying motivated and engaged helps control our diabetes. We know what we should resist temptation at the dinner table, monitor our blood sugars avidly, and get regular check-ups. But knowing all of these things, and knowing that self-motivation is the way to achieve them, isn't quite enough.
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