Conclusion & Discussion

Digitalization causes radical changes in our culture. A life without a mobile phone or access to the internet is now unthinkable as these technologies are an important part of our society. These developments offer many advantages and new opportunities. It also influences the medical world, and the way diseases are treated. In this thesis, particular attention is paid to the emergence of medical implants with wireless applications. These wireless applications aim to manage chronic diseases better but also come with new risks of which the impact is unclear.

This research has looked into how these developments affect the ideas of people who deal with RCMI’s in their daily lives. In the first part of this thesis, the topic is explored, and the wireless applications of insulin pumps, pacemakers, and ICDs are explained. Subsequently, using scientific articles and news reports, it is shown that it is possible to break into RCMI’s. Based on these findings, attention is given to the replies on the news that RCMI’s can be hacked. Responses were provided by researchers that are directly involved in the safety of RCMI’s, computer security experts, manufacturers of RCMI’s, and users of web forums. It was also important to know how easily this knowledge can be accessed on the website and in brochures of RCMI’s. The findings gave the impression that many people are unaware of the security risks of RCMI’s.

In this last chapter, I try to answer the question to what extent people trust the possibilities of new medical implantation technologies that are remotely controllable. A survey and in-depth interviews have been used to answer this question. A total of 58 patients completed the survey, and 19 respondents participated in the in-depth interviews (thirteen patients, four physicians of which one carrying an ICD, one manufacturer, and one security expert). The first part of this chapter answers the sub-questions and the main question. Then, in the final section, the implementation of this research is examined and recommendations are given for future studies.