From the Apple iWatch to Fitbit to Garmin, there is no shortage of wearable fitness technology from which people may choose, whether they are training for their next triathlon or simply tracking the number of steps they take in a day. These tools can no doubt be a boon to those who want to reach certain wellness goals and maintain their overall health. But in recent years, many users have expressed concern that the manufacturers of this technology have prioritized connectivity over security. Many of these devices broadcast data – completely unencrypted – over a Bluetooth connection. Their data can be intercepted and read by anyone close to the device.
This caught the attention of Diego Delgado ’22. A McDevitt Information Systems Fellow and student in Le Moyne's Madden School of Business, Delgado ’22 is evaluating the use of blockchain, a database that gathers and stores information electronically in groups, to address cybersecurity risks associated with these fitness monitoring devices. Delgado is studying management information systems, risk management and insurance, and finance on the Heights. He found himself intrigued by the use of what is often called “wearable technology,” and wanted to investigate whether or not it could be relied on to provide accurate data. As time passed, though, Delgado grew more interested in using blockchains to preserve the privacy of people using these devices. Because blockchain is decentralized and difficult to hack, Delgado believes that it will be widely used in the creation of health monitoring devices moving forward.
“The standards for health monitoring devices must be met before (these products) are placed into the market,” he says. “They must gain the acceptance of clinicians and users as reliable and confidential source of information, and the many different areas blockchain can be applied to secure transactions. What’s most exciting, though, is that there are many different uses for this technology.”
While Delgado does not know precisely what the future has in store for him, he knows that he working for a company that values ethics and culture, and where he can grow as a professional.
This story is part of a series on the McDevitt Information Systems Research Program at Le Moyne.