‘Have you heard the term the Internet of Bodies (IoB)? That may conjure up a few thoughts that have nothing to do with the true nature of the term, but it’s about using the human body as the latest data platform. At first, this concept seems quite creepy, but then when you realize the possibilities it creates, it becomes quite exciting. Here we explore what the Internet of Bodies is, some examples in use today, and a few of the challenges it presents.
What is the Internet of Bodies (IoB)?
When the Internet of Things (IoT) connects with your body, the result is the Internet of Bodies (IoB). The Internet of Bodies (IoB) is an extension of the IoT and basically connects the human body to a network through devices that are ingested, implanted, or connected to the body in some way. Once connected, data can be exchanged, and the body and device can be remotely monitored and controlled.
There are three generations of Internet of Bodies that include:
· Body external: These are wearable devices such as Apple Watches or Fitbits that can monitor our health.
· Body internal: These include pacemakers, cochlear implants, and digital pills that go inside our bodies to monitor or control various aspects of our health.
· Body embedded: The third generation of the Internet of Bodies is embedded technology where technology and the human body are melded together and have a real-time connection to a remote machine.
Progress in wireless connectivity, materials, and tech innovation is allowing implantable medical devices (IMD) to scale and be viable in many applications.
Examples of Internet of Bodies Devices in Use or Development
The most recognized example of Internet of Bodies is a defibrillator or pacemaker, a small device placed in the abdomen or chest to help patients with heart conditions control abnormal heart rhythms with electrical impulses. In 2013, former United States Vice President Dick Cheney got his WiFi-connected defibrillator replaced with one without WiFi capacity. It was feared that he could be assassinated by electric shock if a rogue agent hacked the device.’