The ‘Internet of Bodies’ can bring technology and the human body together

What is the Internet of the body?

The next generation of the “Internet of Bodies” or IOB could bring technology devices and the human body closer together than ever before.

Scholar and author Andrea M. Matwyshyn, who coined the term in 2016, describes it as “a network of the human body whose integrity and functionality depends at least in part on the Internet and other technologies.” related technologies, such as artificial intelligence.

The global connected medical devices market alone will be worth approximately $66 billion by 2024 and is expected to reach more than $132 billion by 2029, according to market research firm Mordor Intelligence.

Matwyshyn has identified three types of IOB, based on the level of integration of the device.

The first type is external. First-generation technology like smartwatches or rings have become popular ways to track our steps or heart rate. Smart glasses, which can act as cameras, headphones or displays, are another example of early IOB devices.

The second generation is internal. These are devices you eat or have implanted. Think pacemakers with digital implants, smart prosthetics attached to a patient’s nerves and muscles, or even digital pills that transmit medical data after you swallow them .

Finally, there is the third generation. These devices fuse completely with the body while maintaining a real-time connection to external machines and the internet.

One of the most notable companies in the field is Elon Musk’s Neuralink, which is developing a brain-computer interface, or BCI, called “Link.” The coin-sized chip is implanted under the skull, where it can read a person’s brain signals and allow them to control an external machine.

While IOB advocates are excited about the advances it could bring, especially in the healthcare sector, many, including Matwyshyn in her original article, have reservations. concerns about privacy and ethics.

“As pieces and bodies come together, and as human flesh becomes permanently entwined with hardware, software, and algorithms, IOB will test our norms and values ​​as is a society”.

“In particular, it will challenge notions of human autonomy and self-governance.”


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