Do you have a cochlear implant? An intraocular lens in your eye? A prosethetic leg with microservos? You may not realize it, but you're standing on the front line of a new age of medical augmentation, one that's raising a host of complex questions.
Who owns the expensive implant that allows you to hear or see better or the sleek thin blades that let you sprint faster? How are upgrades to your device handled? What happens to you and your device if that company goes out of business? Do the answers change if the procedure is elective rather than life-saving?
No one has easy answers, or even much beyond informed speculation -- certainly not the doctors we spoke to for this article or the medical students who addressed medical augmentation at a Defcon 20 session last month in Las Vegas. But all agree on one thing: A new frontier of medical augmentation isn't just coming sooner than you think. It's already here, as society moves from medically necessary augmentation to elective procedures. Call it human hacking. … Read more