RAND Corporation: The Internet of Bodies (IoB) Will Change Everything, for Better or Worse

(RAND) The rise of devices that connect the human body to the web is accelerating rapidly. This Internet of Bodies could revolutionize health care and improve our quality of life. But without appropriate guardrails, it could also jeopardize our most intimate personal information and introduce several ethical concerns.

What Is the Internet of Bodies (IoB)?

Internet-connected “smart” devices are increasingly available in the marketplace, promising consumers and businesses improved convenience and efficiency. Within this broader Internet of Things (IoT) lies a growing industry of devices that monitor the human body and transmit the data collected via the internet. This development, which some have called the Internet of Bodies (IoB), includes an expanding array of devices that combine software, hardware, and communication capabilities to track personal health data, provide vital medical treatment, or enhance bodily comfort, function, health, or well-being. However, these devices also complicate a field already fraught with legal, regulatory, and ethical risks.

In this video, RAND mathematician Mary Lee examines this emerging collection of human body–centric and internet-connected technologies; explores their benefits, security and privacy risks, and ethical implications; surveys the nascent regulatory landscape for these devices and the data they collect; and makes recommendations to balance IoB risks and rewards.

Read more about the Internet of Bodies here: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_re

ALSO SEE: What Is the Internet of Bodies (IoB)?



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