The Internet of Bodies (IoB) term was coined in 2016. It describes connected devices that monitor the human body, collect physiological, biometric, or behavioral data, and exchange information over a wireless or hybrid network. Standalone mobile apps that analyze physical activity and health-related data, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, and sleep cycles, can also be considered part of the IoB cohort. However, we've deliberately excluded them from our classification to avoid confusion with mHealth
The Internet of Bodies falls under the broader IoT solutions
umbrella. But as the name implies, IoB devices ensure an even closer synergy between humans and gadgets than connected thermostats, refrigerators, and curtains.
IoB products come in various forms, ranging in complexity from smartwatches and fitness trackers, which are used by approximately 21% of Americans
, to implantable insulin delivery systems, ingestible sensors, and brain stimulation gadgets.
The benefits of implementing IoB solutions at scale include better diagnosis and treatment of health conditions, personalized insurance plans, increased productivity, and improved public safety, to name a few.
But the growing Internet of Bodies adoption could also result in unauthorized access to sensitive information by third parties, income-based health disparities, and the installment of a global surveillance state.
This article will take a closer look at IoB benefits and applications in the healthcare and wellness domains and identify privacy and security concerns surrounding the Internet of Bodies and medical IoT solutions
. So let's dive right in!