Subcutaneous Body Area Networks - A SWOT Analysis

Philip Catherwood, Dewar Finlay, James McLaughlin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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This paper presents a SWOT analysis for the emerging and futuristic field of non-medical body-implantable devices. This area will begin to materialize as one of the next bigthemes in future personal computing and offers huge rewards tosociety if implemented correctly. The technology boasts manystrengths which are applicable to a variety markets includingentertainment, social networking, personal safety, security,consumerism, communications, healthcare, convenience andhuman body enhancement. Such subcutaneous sensor technologyreleases citizens from the multitude of portable computingdevices, keys, wallets, passes, etc. However, the technology wouldbe a target for hackers and would likely result in more violentrobberies and forceful ID removal. Additionally, adverse healtheffects, device and battery safety and reliability, and co-existencewith medically prescribed implants are issues developers mustsolve before the technology could excel. External emergingtechnologies such as Cloud computing, IoT, and NFC supportdevelopment and potential success of implantable systems andcombines to help address issues of personal safety, terrorism,people tracking and identification, e-payments, and long-termfitness profiling. Threats to the technology’s uptake includesocietal fears on such aspects as adverse health effects,dehumanisation, breaches of human rights, conservatism, socialprivacy, and religious objections. With this technology potentiallybeginning to enter the mainstream in the next 5-10 yearsconsiderable effort is required to develop legislation, policies,procedures, device and network security, and convince thegeneral public this technology is the next logical step in personalcomputing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Number of pages8
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2015
Event2015 IEEE International Symposium on Technology in Society (ISTAS) - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 1 Nov 2015 → …


Conference2015 IEEE International Symposium on Technology in Society (ISTAS)
Period1/11/15 → …


  • Subcutaneous
  • wireless
  • BAN
  • sensors
  • medical devices


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