Say what you want about Dick Cheney, but regardless of his political standpoints, there’s no arguing that as a political figurehead rattled with heart conditions, he has been at the forefront of every major cardiovascular breakthrough since the 1980s.
In his new book, Heart: An American Medical Odyssey, Cheney reveals that the wireless pace maker keeping him alive during his vice presidency could have been the target of a terrorist attack. Before we jump to a further diagnosis of Paranoia, let’s consider this pace maker terrorist in the realm of reality.
Wireless, electronic threats are ever-present. Our industry has been going through flaming hoops to manage patient information safely and securely as we store and do everything electronically. HIPAA security rules, risk assessments, data backups, and information security standards are changing the way we interact with our patients and their information.
In 2007, at the cusp of all this changing technology, Cheney’s doctors had the foresight to imagine the worst-case scenario—hackers hacking wirelessly into Cheney’s pace maker, sending electromagnetic shocks to his heart, killing him instantly and untraceably. For HIPAA Security and Secret Security alike, a patient’s medical safety can never be taken too seriously.