MAR 14, 2019 12:43 AM PDT

Your body is Your Internet

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

By intercepting and analyzing wireless signals, someone can have the ability to hack into a person’s pacemaker or even insulin pump as a form of murder. This hasn’t happened yet but researchers at Purdue University are not going to allow that to happen by tightening security on the "internet of body."

The human body carries electrical signals well. Now these signals can be contained within close proximity of the body, thanks to new technology developed by Purdue University engineers.

Credit: Purdue University image/Erin Easterling

Through a prototype watch a person can receive a signal from any region on the body regardless of skin thickness or the presence of hair. The idea of the watch is to develop a way for physicians to program medical devices without invasive surgery. The technology can advance the field of bioelectronic medicines particularly for high-speed brain imaging for neuroscience applications.

"We show for the first time a physical understanding of the security properties of human body communication to enable a covert body area network, so that no one can snoop important information," says Shreyas Sen, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue. "We're connecting more and more devices to the human body network, from smart watches and fitness trackers to head-mounted virtual reality displays. The challenge has not only been keeping this communication within the body so that no one can intercept it, but also getting higher bandwidth and less battery consumption.”

A device keeps communication signals within the body, so that no one can hack into medical equipment such as pacemakers.

(Purdue University image/Debayan Das)

The work appears in the journal Scientific Reports.

Source: Science Daily

 

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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