Contributor, Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
Amelia Hassoun is a doctoral researcher in Sociocultural Anthropology. Her current research focuses on residents interacting with and creatively reworking the data-gathering technologies that permeate the Singaporean city-space, as well as the makers of these technologies. This project builds upon her Master’s research at UCL on how values become encoded in software systems that process patient data in the NHS, as well as preliminary research with UCL’s Why We Post project while an undergraduate at Yale. Before re-entering the wild world of academia, she worked as a patient website designer in London.
Contributions to Platypus: The CASTAC Blog
A few days ago Johnson and Johnson told patients that one of its insulin pumps can be hacked. This story is just the latest in a series of pieces calling into question the security of wearable medical devices like pacemakers and blood glucose monitors, which have in recent years been increasingly equipped with wireless capabilities. These Wi-Fi connections allow for the easy transmission of medical data from the patient’s body to their clinicians, but also leave the device vulnerable to unauthorized outside access.
There’s an intimacy about medical devices that live in or on the body that gives rise to particularly salient fears of attacks from these imagined hackers. Wearers fret that hackers could flood diabetics with insulin, shut off pacemakers regulating the heartbeat, or steal highly personal medical data.
But to whom does their medical data belong anyway? (more…)