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How One Globally-Centered Group is Tackling the Ethical Implications of Image-Based mHealth in Low R

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How One Globally-Centered Group is Tackling the Ethical Implications of Image-Based mHealth in Low Resource Settings


Author: Nikki Williams

Date: May 28, 2019

Link: https://www.digitalethics.org/essays/how-one-globally-centered-group-tackling-ethical-implications-image-based-mhealth-low


First Impressions: The essay probably talks about how scientists and technicians are planning to develop image based health care with different countries that lack resources when it comes to health care.


Quote: “We must face facts: Our world is no longer defined by local, state, or even continental borders. When we deploy technology like mHealth, whether for the benefit of low-resource or high-resource areas, we must do so with ethical guidelines and frameworks that can exist as comfortably on one side of the globe as another.”



Now that we are in the age of technological advancements, it is just right to make health care easily accessible to countries that lack health care resources. With the help of mHealth technology, this prevents patients from autonomy, where-in the person is the one who makes decisions on what medical treatment he/she would take. The only thing you will need is a mobile phone and internet connection for your communication with doctors. With this, patients can send pictures of their current condition to doctors for analysis. Then the doctor could easily update them on what to do in real-time. This makes it easier for the person acquiring medical services since he does not need to travel to the hospital. The only problem that arises, in this case, is patient privacy. Before implementing mHealth technology, developers must first make sure that their application is secure and is impossible to penetrate by hackers. We would not want data of patients to leak since it would also be difficult for the developers. They would be encountering identity theft, causing misidentification of patients. Possible features that could be added would be the deletion of images after a set amount of time once received by the doctor, monthly security updates to avoid a data breach, and quality assurance testing before implementing updates to the system.


5 Things I Learned:

  1. Facebook are working with health professionals to integrate their technology with medical tech.

  2. Doctors use WhatsApp to exchange information with one another, and find it easier to communicate with one another.

  3. There are still privacy concerns arising when using WhatsApp.

  4. Mark Zuckerberg plans to integrate Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp.

  5. mHealth helps countries without doctors communicate with doctors through mobile applications.


5 Integrative Questions:

  1. Is mobile health the future of healthcare?

  2. To what demographic is mHealth limited to?

  3. Once people find out about mHealth, will they abuse the power of it?

  4. How can a doctor verify if the image sent to him for consultation is really from the patient he is working with?

  5. What are the best practices to implement in mHealth technology?


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