Smart homes, private homes? An empirical study of technology researchers’ perceptions of ethical issues in developing smart-home health technologies

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:23
Authors: Giles Birchley, Richard Huxtable, Madeleine Murtagh, Ruud ter Meulen, Peter Flach, Rachael Gooberman-Hill
“Smart-home technologies, comprising environmental sensors, wearables and video are attracting interest in home healthcare delivery. Development of such technology is usually justified on the basis of the technology’s potential to increase the autonomy of people living with long-term conditions. Studies of the ethics of smart-homes raise concerns about privacy, consent, social isolation and equity of access. Few studies have investigated the ethical perspectives of smart-home engineers themselves. By exploring the views of engineering researchers in a large smart-home project, we sought to contribute to dialogue between ethics and the engineering community.”
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Yes, your doctor might Google you

The Conversation, 30 March 2017
Author: Merle Spriggs
“An Australian survey of how doctors use social media found about 16% (about one in six) had searched for online information about a patient, with roughly similar results from studies in the US and Canada. This raises several ethical concerns. For instance, what if your doctor’s search through your Facebook, blog or Twitter feeds revealed aspects about your lifestyle, like drug or alcohol use, you didn’t tell your doctor directly? What if that information influenced your access to surgery?”
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CEU v University of Technology Sydney [2017] NSWCATAD 79

Decision date: 13 March 2017
“ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Health Privacy Principles 2, 9 and 11 of the Health Records and Information Protection Act 2003 – whether provision of health information by one administrative unit of an agency to another constitutes ‘disclosure’ – whether diagnosis of alcohol dependence accurate – whether applicant’s diary collected by agency – whether notes collected were irrelevant, excessive, inaccurate or unreasonably intrusive – whether health information disclosed as alleged on 21 May 2015 – meaning of ‘disclosure’ in Health Privacy Principle 11.”
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NSW hospital patients not told their medical records were found in public areas

ABC, 20 March 2017
Author: Nick Dole
“NSW hospital patients have had their confidential details compromised on multiple occasions, including medical records being found in a public carpark. In many cases, patients were never informed because the Health District said there was not a “serious risk of harm”. The Central Coast Local Health District recorded more than 30 privacy breaches in 2014/15, and in 2015/16 there were 16.”
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Health center finds virus on computer with patient info

Information Management, 21 March 2017
Author: Joseph Goedert
“The health center at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., is notifying patients that their protected health information may have been compromised after finding one of its computers was infected with a virus for 11 months. Patient data at risk included names, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, Social Security numbers and diagnoses.”
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Employee looked at patient info for 5 years at Nebraska hospital

Information Management, 8 March 2017
Author: Joseph Goedert
“Chadron Community Hospital, recently learned that an employee was accessing patient records outside of job duties for more than five years. An investigation found that compromised patient information included names, addresses, dates of birth, clinical information from the electronic health record system (diagnoses, orders, provider notes and test results) and insurance information. The hospital is notifying 702 patients and advising them to monitor financial accounts.”
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Google’s DeepMind plans bitcoin-style health record tracking for hospitals

The Guardian, 9 March 2017
Author: Alex Hern
“Google’s AI-powered health tech subsidiary, DeepMind Health, is planning to use a new technology loosely based on bitcoin to let hospitals, the NHS and eventually even patients track what happens to personal data in real-time. DeepMind has faced criticism from patient groups for what they claim are overly broad data sharing agreements. Critics fear that the data sharing has the potential to give DeepMind, and thus Google, too much power over the NHS.”
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Outdated Privacy Law Limits Effective Substance Use Disorder Treatment: The Case Against 42 CFR Part 2

Health Affairs Blog, 1 March 2017
Authors: Sarah Wakeman, Peter Friedmann
“On November 17, 2016, Surgeon General Vivek Murphy released the first report on substance use disorder (SUD) in the U.S. This landmark document described the tremendous toll of alcohol and drug use on the health and well-being of our nation. With the report, the Surgeon General issued a call to action, stating “how we respond to this crisis is a test for America.” Highlighted in the recommendations was the need to address the segregation of SUD treatment outside of medical care and the need to fight persistent stigma. However, full implementation of these recommendations remains nearly impossible so long as the archaic federal privacy law known as 42 CFR part 2 remains in place.”
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