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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Inside RISKS: risks in medical electronics

The RISKS Forum has had many accounts of annoying errors, expensive breakdowns, privacy abuses, security breaches, and potential safety hazards. However, postings describing documented serious injuries or deaths that scan be unequivocally attributed to deficiencies in the design or implementation of computer-controlled systems are very rare. A tragic exception was a series of accidents which occurred between 1985 and 1987 involving a computer-controlled radiation therapy machine.

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