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Federal leaders are increasing their efforts to address healthcare cyberattacks, hard on the heels of the recent Change Healthcare and Ascension breeches. A $50 million program was announced this week to encourage the development of practical tech tools that would effectively disconnect healthcare devices such as heart monitors and electrocardiogram machines when needed then fix the weakness before bringing the machines back online. The aim is to identify vulnerabilities and customize patches that could be applied within days of a cyberattack, helping provider operations to return to normal quickly. The project is led by Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), which was modeled after a Department of Defense unit.

Looking for fixers: Multiple awards will be given for developers that can create the capabilities. ARPA-H is part of a larger federal strategy to thwart healthcare cyberattacks, but most of the solutions will be years in the making.

Program Seeks Clever Cyberattack Patches for Health Devices