Leanne Torgersen

Leanne Torgersen



My name is Leanne and I am a registered nurse in the United States. I have two bachelor’s degrees in nursing and in physiology, and have two master’s degrees in public health (health policy and management) and in clinical research. I have extensive experience in clinical research, patient care, research administration and research both in the United States and Norway. I have been involved in all stages of the research process including working on laboratory, clinical and qualitative research studies and projects. In Boston I worked at three major medical centers, which included working for the Divisions or Departments of Hematology/Oncology, Rheumatology, Infectious Diseases, Pulmonary, and Gastroenterology. As a nurse, I have worked in the Cardiopulmonary Unit (step-down from the intensive care unit) at Spaulding Hospital in Cambridge, MA and in the sub-acute care/rehabilitation unit at Stone Rehabilitation and Assisted Living in Newton, MA. From my diverse educational and professional background, I believe that interdisciplinary thinking and approaches, and an inner motivation for lifelong learning support greatly the innovation and research creation process. As a result of those beliefs, I am happy to be working on a PhD in Nursing Sciences and to be a member of the Schulz research team at the University of Trier. I am focusing further into psychology (emotional and stress regulation, anxiety, and cognitive psychology), communication and decision-making facilitators/barriers, and human factors and cybersecurity.

The title of my PhD research project is, “Patient Informed Consent, Ethical and Legal Implications in the Context of Digital Vulnerability with Smart, Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices”.


With the advancements in digitalisation for cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), patients are provided greater opportunities for improved autonomy, quality of life and a potential increase in life expectancy. Despite the digital and functional practicalities of CIEDs, cyber safety issues exist with the transferring wireless information and for patients with CIEDs, they “carry” with them always two types of risks due to these cyber vulnerabilities. For these patients, cyber risks can potentially result in both the loss of sensitive data and the loss of control of the CIED by an unknown and unwelcome party, and thus can impact not only the integrity of the CIED but also poses direct threats to the patient’s privacy and personal health. Thus, without effective and in-depth communication during the consenting process, CIED patients are left unaware of the cyber risks they possess.


As ethical care and patient centered care are key components of the informed consent process and since the cyber risks with CIEDs have been published for over a decade, which could be considered now foreseeable risks, patients have the right to know about the cyber risks with CIEDs. Thus, my research focuses on first understanding the current consenting process and level of cyber risk knowledge both doctors and patients have, how concerned are they with the cyber risks with CIEDs and how much do patients want to be informed about the cyber risks with these devices. The goal of this research is to develop standardized cyber risk guidelines for the informed consent and manufacturer manuals.

Pädagogische Erfahrung::

  • Bachelor of Science in Krankenpflege, Simmons University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Master of Science in Klinischer Forschung, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Master of Public Health, Gesundheitspolitik und -management, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Bachelor of Science in Physiologie, University of California Davis, Davis, California