Volume 13, Number 2

Applying the Health Belief Model to Cardiac Implanted Medical Device Patients


George W. Jackson1 and Shawon Rahman2, 1Capella University, USA, 2University of HawaiiHilo, USA


Wireless Implanted Medical Devices (WIMD) are helping millions of users experience a better quality of life. Because of their many benefits, these devices are experiencing dramatic growth in usage, application, and complexity. However, this rapid growth has precipitated an equally rapid growth of cybersecurity risks and threats. While it is apparent from the literature WIMD cybersecurity is a shared responsibility among manufacturers, healthcare providers, and patients; what explained what role patients should play in WIMD cybersecurity and how patients should be empowered to assume this role. The health belief model (HBM) was applied as the theoretical framework for a multiple case study which examined the question: How are the cybersecurity risks and threats related to wireless implanted medical devices being communicated to patients who have or will have these devices implanted in their bodies? The subjects of this multiple case study were sixteen cardiac device specialists in the U.S., each possessing at least one year of experience working directly with cardiac implanted medical device (CIMD) patients, who actively used cardiac device home monitoring systems. The HBM provides a systematic framework suitable for the proposed research. Because of its six-decade history of validity and its extraordinary versatility, the health belief model, more efficiently than any other model considered, provides a context for understanding and interpreting the results of this study. Thus, the theoretical contribution of this research is to apply the HBM in a setting where it has never been applied before, WIMD patient cybersecurity awareness. This analysis (using a multiple case study) will demonstrate how the HBM can assist the health practitioners, regulators, manufacturers, security practitioners, and the research community in better understanding the factors, which support WIMD patient cybersecurity awareness and subsequent adherence to cybersecurity best practices.


Health Belief Model, Healthcare Cybersecurity, Cardiac Implanted Device, Wireless Implanted Medical Devices, WIMD, WIMD cybersecurity.