My Hurt Locker

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Vickram and Jude were tinkering with a device that I was having a hard time understanding. It was a Raspberry Pi based gizmo meant to hold health information for mainly the rural poor in India, and keep the data private. As I understood, the data would be encrypted on the device, but it would then travel over the regular, unsecured wifi or 3G telephone network to the doctor’s office.

But, while I didn’t fully understand the scope of that device, I kept on thinking that perhaps all that is needed is an encrypted USB-drive.

The device

The above device could keep all the health data for an individual securely and privately, protected by an in-built biometric fingerprint sensor. Only the individual would be able to unlock this device. When she travels to her doctor’s office, the doctor would insert the device into his computer, have the patient unlock it, and the device would synchronize with a secure, distributed data-store such as that proposed by That way, if the device ever got lost, it could be safely recreated.

to be continued…