Ethics and privacy issues
Risks and benefits of humanitarian digital health
Digital health care tools may contain personal and sensitive data, requiring robust safeguards to ensure individuals’ control over their data as well as adequate data protection, privacy, and security. Hence, digital health is not the panacea for all humanitarian challenges and without proper safeguards, digital tools come with significant risks and challenges such as:
- Leak of sensible private data.
- Fear of healthcare data breaches may lead patients to withhold information from doctors, which can undermine medical treatments.
- Various cyber threats, for example hacker attacks.
- Lack of supply security, for example electricity and updated equipment
- Unintended technical or human errors
The risks and benefits of digital health interventions must be balanced and assessed against this primary purpose. In our research projects we are continuously investigating how to promote verifiable data protection and consent.