Grandma Got Hacked

The very old will be the guinea pigs of the “Internet of Things”.

Tomorrow’s wondrous “Internet of Things” could link our at-home smart appliances with personal medical monitors. It promises to greatly enhance seniors’ ability to live comfortably at home in spite of chronic health conditions. Alongside that promise, though, is the reality that nearly any online device can be hacked. Elders may be the “guinea pigs” of this new system, potentially betting their health on the future network’s security.


The Slate article we link to today takes a fascinating look at how technological advances in the delivery of health care can greatly improve how we age, and it raises important questions about how a new health care delivery system could be open to abuse. Author Joseph Coughlin is Director of MIT’s AgeLab, and Luke Yoquinto is a Boston-based science writer collaborating with the AgeLab.

Read here.

As always, we encourage you to share your thoughts by commenting.


One thought on “Grandma Got Hacked

  1. Technology has always been a two edged sword. At first it was only available to a limited number of hard-wired individuals, expensive and difficult to learn while service could be slow and balky. Today that has for the most part all changed with the ubiquitous smart device and almost universal access to a signal. However the one serious problem with the new technology that has remained with us since its development is not knowing how things are being done by the technology. All technology is based on algorithms and most of these are outside of the common knowledge. I only have to mention “derivatives” for most to understand my caution. Without at least a minimum understanding of the algorithms and an analog understanding of the process or service that these algorithms are providing we have no basis for questioning the results that these algorithms produce. For this reason I have eschewed the sole use of computer based estimators and schedulers, working with pencil and paper along side the spread sheets. The same is true for my taxes. Although I have no idea how the math for calculating what portion of my Social Security is a part of my Adjusted Gross Income, at least I know approximately how much of a discount the work sheet should produce. Turbo Tax would not give me this sense. I am much more concerned about my health than I am about my finances and would fight as long as I am able to maintain a hands-on understanding of it and try to keep a grain of salted doubt for what devices tell me.


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