Safeguard Scientifics latest bet: $750K on health IT company MedCrypt

The company, started by Penn and Drexel grads, has offices in Philly and San Diego, Calif.

MedCrypt wants to keep hackers out of medical data.

(Photo by Flickr user Liz West, used under a Creative Commons license)

How about we don’t let hackers have remote access to a defibrillator, or the data stream from an MRI machine?
Safeguard Scientifics thought so too. That’s why the venture firm led an investment round in an early-stage health IT company called MedCrypt, which put together some software that lets medical device makers authenticate users, encrypt data and cryptographically sign settings and patient prescriptions.
Founded by Mike Kijewski, Eric Pancoast and Brett Hemenway — Penn and Drexel grads — the company will use the round toward commercial pilots with medical device vendors.

“While it’s distressing to think about a hacker remotely disabling a medical device, it’s far more unnerving to consider a hacker silently taking over a device and sending it malicious instructions, resulting in a patient’s injury or worse, death,” said Kijewski.
Safeguard’s managing director, Gary Kurtzman, was Kijewski’s professor at Wharton. Unsurprisingly, he loves MedCrypt.
“Battling cyber threats begins at the design phase, and technology like this complements our efforts to holistically improve healthcare delivery,” Kurtzman said.

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