faculty research

Dartmouth Research Imparts Momentum to Mobile Health

Joseph Blumberg

Bracelets and amulets are in the works at Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society. Rather than items of mere adornment, the scientists and engineers are constructing personal mobile health (mHealth) devices—highly functional jewelry, as it were. mHealth is a rapidly growing field where technology helps you or your physician monitor your health through mobile devices. This approach can offer more accurate and timely diagnoses as well as lower health costs. However, smartphones are often used to transmit collected medical information, and these transmissions are vulnerable to hacking.

Devices Use Biometrics to Prevent Hack Attacks (ARS Technica, Popular Science)

Dartmouth researchers are developing a wearable electronic device that uses a person’s unique physiological responses to protect his or her own medical devices, such as pacemakers, against being tampered with by malicious hackers, reports ARS Technica.

The proposed wearable instrument, worn like a watch, could identify the person who is wearing it and create a protective encryption system for the healthcare devices to which it is linked. ARS Technica points to a statement the authors made in their research explaining the capabilities of the new instrument. “Without any other action on the part of the users, the devices discover each other’s presence, recognize that they are on the same body, develop shared secrets from which to derive encryption keys, and establish reliable and secure communications.”

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