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Information 2017, 8(3), 77; doi:10.3390/info8030077

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

1
Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 1 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JS, UK
2
The Alan Turing Institute, British Library, 96 Euston Rd, London, NW1 2DB, UK
3
Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London, 22 Gordon Square, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 28 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: internet of things; data ethics; health; data analytics; responsible research and innovation internet of things; data ethics; health; data analytics; responsible research and innovation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mittelstadt, B. Designing the Health-related Internet of Things: Ethical Principles and Guidelines. Information 2017, 8, 77.

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