IoT Security Blog

Articles and Posts on IoT Security, Embedded Systems, and the Internet of Things

Patient, Heal Thy Quantified Self

Wearable technology for HealthcareSmartwatches, smartglasses, smartwear are everywhere or, should we say everyware. It’s a ubicomp world where endless amounts of data based on our quantified self is attainable in real time thanks to the Internet of Things. And while knowing the number of steps we took today, can be important to a person, the leak or interruption of such information isn’t exactly life-threatening.

Wearable technology in the healthcare industry deliver instant bio-analytics far more critical than general fitness. From vests to prevent heart attacks to chemo ports to release drug doses, these wearable (or implanted) gadgets and sensors have the potential to help both patients and clinicians monitor vital signs and symptoms instantly with or without the need for an office or hospital visit.

What if I Don’t Want to Wear It?

Mobile applications in healthcare haven’t taken off because they either lack medical precision or they make demands of their user that reduce adoption, says Zeb Kimmel, founder and CEO of Cambridge, MA-based startup Atlas5D. These demands are things like wearing [a device] or interacting with it or recharging it. For everyday fitness, that’s fine. But there’s large populations of people who cannot or will not use a wearable, or a wearable doesn’t generate enough useful information.

What do we do for the community individuals in the need monitoring and protection, but cannot or will not wear it such as patients with living with Autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The answer to all of these challenges comes in the form of software developed to run on sensor-equipped smart devices that passively monitors a person’s behavior and movements. The usefulness of data collected from these devices is critical and can be life-saving. Therefore, the safety and security of such information is as well.

It goes without saying that these devices call for unique data protection and encryption features that prevent tampering while keeping the information untraceable and un-cloneable. In order to prevent unauthorized reading of the data collected, authentication and encryption protocols need to be implemented to provide anonymity while and guarding consumer privacy.

In 1979, Norman Cousins wrote in Anatomy of an Illness, Each patient carries his own doctor inside him. Today, philosophically AND figuratively.