Stakeholders Analysis of Pacemaker Device Patients' Expectations

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In this section, the core values of the associated stakeholders regarding the development of smart pacemakers are going to be discussed. An analysis of their expectations and interests will take place. as an attempt to illustrate their perspective. The major actors who are affected by any development in the medical domain are the patients themselves and therefore their families.

Patients’ main expectation is to receive a comprehensive, accurate and scientific based medical treatment in a way that does not put at risk their own lives or not exposes them to other associated health dangers and threats. In that sense, as far as the development of the pacemaker device is concerned, they perceive that there is a risk that potentially might harm their welfare, privacy and security, as an outcome of the increasing dependence on software and interoperability with other devices via wireless communication (Sametinger, Rozenblit, Lysecky, & Ott, 2015). Since implantable devices underlie the risk of being hacked, the patients consider critical for the technology developers to incorporate features that guarantee their security and autonomy. There are various design features that patients wish to be embedded into devices intended to be used in the home to mitigate against such risks, such as password protection, panels hiding critical device controls, and the use of colour-coded or unique connectors (Bayer, 2014).

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The group of stakeholders that determines the features and the functioning of pacemaker devices are the hired technological developers and engineers by the companies which operate within the medical domain. Their main interest is to design artefacts that improve patients’ daily life and at the same time sustain their future in the company. To that end, they attempt to establish a relationship of trust between them and patients as well as the company itself. Pacemaker developers’ main intention, besides coming up with ideas that meliorate current technologies, is to develop a device in such a way that is usable by patients in a safe and proper manner without any ambiguities (Bayer, 2014). On the other hand, cardio device companies’ such as Medtronic, is to contribute to human welfare by design, manufacturing and selling devices that reduce pain, restore health and extend life (Medtronic, 2018). However, that might not always be the case when it comes the number of sales, profits and competition. Companies main target regardless of their operational domain is to increase and then sustain a big market share. That sometimes implies the adoption of practices that aim to develop a mode of dependability between them and their customers. As far as the smart pacemaker industry is concerned, the medical companies control the data coming from the patients/users causing to the latter a deterioration to their autonomy.

The above-mentioned issue arises a value battle between the companies and the governmental institutions which strive for patients autonomy and freedom to use their own data by acknowledging it as their constitutional right. However, because the law always lags behind technological and commercial developments (Udo Presentations 2018), the current state of the pertinent regulatory environment is characterized by the absence of laws that guarantee the patients’ confidentiality regarding the data extracted by smart pacemakers. The doctors and in general the clinics and hospitals that are responsible for operating surgeries to implant pacemakers aim to provide the most appropriate and comprehensive health care services without causing any harm to patients’ health. So they attempt to ensure their good reputation by establishing a relationship of trust with the patients.

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