The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the software update earlier this month, and is recommending patients and doctors discuss the update at patients' next appointments. The FDA is not recommending the devices be removed or replaced.
Patients must visit their doctors to get the updates, which should take about three minutes. The FDA noted there are no known cases of patients being harmed because of the cybersecurity issue.
The FDA issued a notice in January saying the devices were vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks that might allow a third party to control them remotely.
About 465,000 U.S. patients could be affected.
Abbott Laboratories released updates this week to heart devices that have been dogged by potentially life-threatening battery problems and cybersecurity questions. North suburban-based Abbott notified patients and doctors that it's offering a software update for implantable cardiac pacemakers made by St. Jude Medical, a company Abbott acquired earlier this year. The update is meant to protect the pacemakers, which have computer systems embedded in them, from falling prey to cyberattacks.