Without security measures in place, all health engagement programs and monitoring applications with biometric devices will fail if personal and health information is leaked/stolen by hackers. Even out-of-industry marketers would pay for personal health and behavior information to drive their retail sales. Angry dissidents could have direct control over a personal device’s functions causing harm and fear. There could be black market potential for that information because the value of it is so high.
Health programs store information and devices add to the health data and this data builds up over time building an incredible profile of who we are. The devices are even more vulnerable since they are light operating systems lacking in security. They only acquire and send data based on the identity of a person. Identity has been set but nothing is governing authority and as such may be vulnerable to outside attacks through the network. Do we control our health devices or can they be hacked and controlled by an outsider? If it’s connected, it can be hacked. No one wants to wear a device that can control their heart if another person with a mission can wreak havoc on them. If my connected device that measures and records glucose levels shows me false data, I may take the incorrect amount of a drug. If this happened, it is so invasive that I would cease all activity with the program and device. My trust would be broken.
How can we secure this information and keep hackers away from devices that monitor and control our health and environment in our daily lives? A breach may lower adoption as trust is diminished.
Security must be embedded in your engagement strategy and programs to realize the full potential of a health engagement program. Frankly, we are a nation that requires most of us to jump on the “better health bandwagon” and we need engagement programs with devices to support a healthier lifestyle. We also need it to be secure and trusted.