Designing the Health-related Internet of Things: Ethical Principles and Guidelines

Abstract

The conjunction of wireless computing, ubiquitous Internet access, and the miniaturisation of sensors have opened the door for technological applications that can monitor health and well-being outside of formal healthcare systems. The health-related Internet of Things (H-IoT) increasingly plays a key role in health management by providing real-time tele-monitoring of patients, testing of treatments, actuation of medical devices, and fitness and well-being monitoring. Given its numerous applications and proposed benefits, adoption by medical and social care institutions and consumers may be rapid. However, a host of ethical concerns are also raised that must be addressed. The inherent sensitivity of health-related data being generated and latent risks of Internet-enabled devices pose serious challenges. Users, already in a vulnerable position as patients, face a seemingly impossible task to retain control over their data due to the scale, scope and complexity of systems that create, aggregate, and analyse personal health data. In response, the H-IoT must be designed to be technologically robust and scientifically reliable, while also remaining ethically responsible, trustworthy, and respectful of user rights and interests. To assist developers of the H-IoT, this paper describes nine principles and nine guidelines for ethical design of H-IoT devices and data protocols.

DOI: 10.3390/info8030077

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Cite this paper

@article{Mittelstadt2017DesigningTH, title={Designing the Health-related Internet of Things: Ethical Principles and Guidelines}, author={Brent Daniel Mittelstadt}, journal={Information}, year={2017}, volume={8}, pages={77} }