Grants Database

International Computer Science Institute
Amount Awarded:
Project Title:
Usable Security of Emerging Healthcare Technologies for Seniors
Consumer Privacy Rights Fund, 2018
Project Description:

The elderly population in the US is growing rapidly. By 2030, 75% more seniors will require nursing home care in the US compared to 2010, and in California, the elderly population is expected to grow more than twice as fast as the total population. These trends explain a noticeable uptake in the area of internet-connected healthcare technologies, including wearable devices for medical measurements, context-aware safety monitoring, and fall sensors. These technologies aid in improving elderly people’s safety and health, in addition to supporting independent living. However, due to potentially limited technological literacy and high probability of physical or mental impairments, older adults are particularly vulnerable to the cybersecurity and privacy risks posed by these devices. Moreover, health data is considered sensitive, thus healthcare technologies require higher levels of security and need to comply with even more rigorous regulation, policies and standards (both in California and at the federal level) than some other emerging consumer applications. Thus, it is critically important to study the privacy and security impacts of these devices on this understudied population. The goal of this project is to better understand the privacy and security attitudes of the geriatric population with respect to emerging Internet-connected healthcare technologies (EHT), and design an effective system that will empower informed decisions, better control over personal data, and improved security of these users. They plan to conduct semi-structured interviews, surveys, an observational field study, participatory design sessions, and user testing experiments with the prototypes they design to achieve these goals. The studies will be conducted with members of Bay Area elderly care facilities, and results will be disseminated locally and around the country.