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Security by design: Trust, Reliability and Resilience for IoT devices in Healthcare

Healthcare is a key sector for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. IoT-based monitoring of care promises extensive benefits from near error-free diagnosis, early-warnings, and increasing longevity and quality-of-life while reducing costs. IoT in healthcare extends far beyond the simple adoption of the various monitoring devices. The fact that all stakeholders involved with an individual’s health such as the physicians, patient, family and other players are connected to each other, has a far-reaching impact on healthcare. Because of this connectivity, there is bound to be a paradigm shift in care. The shift from a curative to preventative healthcare.

Connected devices do more than just produce data for patients and doctors as part of individual care. They also generate a collective intelligence emerging from the mass of data that can be analyzed for overall trends.

Google founder and CEO Larry Page quoted “the use of health data for the advancement of medical research “will save hundreds of thousands of lives”. The mass of collected data opens the door to much more accurate analyses of the healthcare system – with the purpose of optimizing it –, and ultimately to a shift from preventive to predictive medicine. With Big Data providing several new tools to prevent and predict pathologies,
the data scientist role emerges, suggesting an evolution of the medical profession.

While the utility of IoT devices and apps in the context of care is well established, there are limitations in its widespread use and integration into the main stream healthcare. Two primary problems are apparent; One is the evolution of sensing device technologies is still underway and currently lack accuracy and consistency in measurement and the other being security. Security encompasses data privacy, secure transfers, secure storage and access. Regulations such as the GDPR could tend to curb data exchanges without contractual agreements. The key challenges are in being able to create technologies that are inherently secure, secure the user and data interfaces, implement electronic contracts for data exchange and ensure secure data transfer and storage.

The aim of this PhD is to explore the factors that influence the security-by-design framework for IoT-based healthcare devices. The study will particularly focus on the socio-technical factors that contribute to human-error caused security breaches and how it can be reduced.

Skills Required:

  • Educational or professional background in information security
  • Introductory knowledge about IoT devices, Arduino or RaspberryPi
  • Willingness to learn appropriate programming languages for the IoT devices and IoT Simulators

Background Reading:

Garge, G. K., Balakrishna, C., & Datta, S. K. (2018). Consumer health care: Current trends in consumer health monitoring. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 7(1), 38-46.
Lee, I., & Lee, K. (2015). The Internet of Things (IoT): Applications, investments, and 



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