The WIMDs of change: present and future security concerns associated with Wearable and Implantable Medical Devices

Richard Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract

The popularity of Wearable and Implantable Medical Devices (WIMDs) has risen dramatically in recent years and this technology is expected to be integrated into expanding medical networks in the years ahead. Data collection via networks of WIMDs promises to revolutionise healthcare by providing timely and effective diagnosis and delivery of care. The combination of big data practices with this emerging techno logy may provide vital insights into disease patterns and help to generate innovative health solutions. Despite boasting an array of potential benefits, the increased prevalence of WIMDs poses a threat to patient safety and national security. WIMDs may be hacked by malicious actors to administer fatal individual attacks or to overwhelm and disrupt critical infrastructure. The present and future national security risks associated with the emergence of WIMDs are likely to be underestimated. This is due to the unique vulnerability of this technology combined with the recent tendency to focus on data privacy issues when considering the potential impact of cybersecurity breaches. Greater attention should be given to the direct threat to life that hacks to WIMDs c ould cause, as well as the possibility for coordinated attempts to disrupt large medical networks. Future research should investigate the psychological and behavioural effects of interfering with WIMDs in order to mitigate the future risks of mass panic an d societal disruption.
Original languageEnglish
TypeEssay
PublisherHM Government
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2021

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