Sunday July 21, 2019

FDA Warns Patients about Cybersecurity Concerns with Certain Medtronic Insulin Pumps

Patients with diabetes using the affected models should switch their insulin pump to models that are better equipped

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ransomware
The ransomware takes advantage of the architecture of the central processing unit (CPU) to avoid detection - functionality that is not often seen in ransomware. Pixabay

With the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a warning to health care providers this week that certain Medtronic insulin pumps have potential cybersecurity risks, the company said no patient issues have been reported in India so far.

While the US FDA said that Medtronic was recalling several affected MiniMed pumps and providing alternative insulin pumps to patients, insulin pumps are not being recalled in India.

Patients with diabetes using the affected models should switch their insulin pump to models that are better equipped to protect against these potential risks, the FDA said.

Medtronic India said it has started notifying customers of a potential cybersecurity risk in the MiniMed 508 and MiniMed Paradigm series of insulin pumps. These models are from 2012 and earlier.

US, FDA, Cybersecurity
With the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a warning to health care providers this week that certain Medtronic insulin pumps have potential cybersecurity risks. Pixabay

“An unauthorised person with special technical skills and equipment could potentially connect wirelessly to a nearby insulin pump to change settings and control insulin delivery. At this time, we have not received any confirmed reports of unauthorized persons changing settings or controlling insulin delivery,” Medtronic India said in a statement.

“Kindly note that the insulin pumps are not being recalled and are not required to be returned. This is a safety notification only,” it added.

MiniMed 508 had been discontinued in India since 2011.

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“In India, Medtronic is proactively informing the regulators and other relevant stakeholders and is in the process of working with researchers, doctors and patients to address any questions or concerns that they may have,” the US-based medical device manufacturer said. (IANS)

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Why U.S. Women’s Soccer Dominates on World Stage while Men’s Game Continues to Falter

The U.S. men haven’t come close to the women’s success

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Mexico's Rodolfo Pizarro, right, controls the ball against U.S. forward Paul Arriola during the Gold Cup final in Chicago, July 7, 2019. Mexico won 1-0. VOA

In the 28 years since winning the very first Women’s World Cup, the U.S. women’s soccer team has dominated the game on the global stage, taking home four Women’s World Cups in all, including the 2019 title captured this month in a 2-0 victory over The Netherlands.

The U.S. men haven’t come close to the women’s success. Not only have the men never won a World Cup, they even failed to qualify for the most recent men’s World Cup in 2018.

To deduce why U.S. women’s soccer dominates on the world stage while the men’s game continues to falter, you might just have to go back to the beginning, to the time when future world-class players — female and male — first start showing athletic promise.

“Soccer was never really been part of the national lexicon. It’s always been kind of this underground, kind of foreign game,” says Eileen Narcotta-Welp, an assistant professor of sport management at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. “Not only has it been a foreign game, but it’s been seen as a less masculine state. So if a child has to choose, or their parents have to choose, which sport a child is going to go into, ultimately it’s going to be basketball, baseball, [or] football.”

US, Women, Soccer
U.S. player Megan Rapinoe celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the World Cup final match against The Netherlands outside Lyon, France, July 7, 2019. VOA

The world in general views soccer — or “football” as it is called practically everywhere in the world except the United States — as an extremely male-oriented, overtly masculine game. However, in the United States, more traditional U.S. sports like baseball, basketball, and American football are more likely to be viewed as “macho” activities.

So while little American boys were pursuing other sports, a combination of events laid the foundation for the popularity of girls’ soccer in the U.S.

One of them was the 1972 passage of the federal law known as Title IX, which prohibits federally funded educational institutions from discriminating on the basis of sex. The law applies to high school and college athletics.

Many schools quickly embraced soccer for women because they could field up to 35 players per team, a sizable number that helped close the gender gap in their athletic programs.

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Additionally, the success of the U.S. women’s soccer team has captured the imagination of young female athletes-in-the-making. Over time, they’ve watched and admired soccer icons of yester-year, like Brandi Chastain, and current superstars like Meghan Rapinoe, and are inspired to emulate them and their success.

Aside from cultural and societal expectations, there are practical financial considerations that help explain why America’s best female athletes might choose to pursue soccer while top male athletes look to basketball, baseball or football.

“Those are also three sports that you can make a living off of,” Narcotta-Welp points out. “If you are a kid that is extremely talented, extremely athletic, and you are a boy…you know that professionally, if you want to play professional sports and succeed, that they’re pretty much three areas in which you’re gonna be able to succeed.”

US, Women, Soccer
In the 28 years since winning the very first Women’s World Cup, the U.S. women’s soccer team has dominated the game on the global stage, taking home four Women’s World Cups. Pixabay

The most talented female athletes have even less choice. Their opportunities to play professionally and make a living out of it basically come down to soccer or basketball.

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“They’re not getting huge exorbitant salaries, but it is kind of the one pathway for young women to play professionally,” Narcotta-Welp says. “For men, you have so many other options that are much more lucrative and probably more culturally acceptable in terms of the idea of masculinity that it would make sense for them to be steered in one of those three directions versus soccer.” (VOA)