This article discusses some of the ethical, legal and social issues that arise with the development of personal health records and applications. While personal health applications have potential to improve patient health, they also raise complex questions about patient privacy, security and decision-making.
Project HealthDesign, which funded development of new personal health application prototypes, also created an Ethical, Legal, and Social Team to examine these issues. This paper presents the primary concerns raised by the first round of Project HealthDesign projects.
- Privacy. Electronic medical records pose several challenges to patient privacy. These challenges include the design of functionality that allows patients to release only relevant information to reliable parties; the appropriateness of round-the-clock data monitoring; and the legal and ethical issues surrounding health disclosures on social networking sites.
- Data security. Personal health records and applications record sensitive personal information across a variety of devices, including mobile devices. Ensuring both robust security and ease of use is a challenge for the designers of personal health applications.
- Decision support. Many personal health applications provide some form of feedback and decision-making based on patient input. Automated decision support raises issues around the use of authoritative statements, interaction between automated devices and physician oversight, and use of decision support with patients with mental limitations.
- Legal and regulatory requirements. New personal health applications raise many legal and regulatory concerns, including fulfillment of HIPAA standards for electronic information and the role of personal health applications with caregivers of patients.
While personal health records and applications present new and exciting ways to help individuals manage their health, these programs also raise legal, social, and ethical issues that must be examined before the potential of personal health records can be fully realized.
- 1. The Communication and Care Plan
- 2. Living Profiles
- 3. Towards a Personal Health Management Assistant
- 4. Evolution of a Web-Based, Prototype Personal Health Application for Diabetes Self-Management
- 5. Colorado Care Tablet
- 6. MyMediHealth
- 7. Design of a Handheld Electronic Pain, Treatment and Activity Diary
- 8. Designing Mobile Support for Glycemic Control in Patients with Diabetes
- 9. A Method to Implement Fine-Grained Access Control for Personal Health Records Through Standard Relational Database Queries
- 10. Ethical, Legal and Social Issues for Personal Health Records and Applications
RWJF examines the types of competitive foods - foods and beverages schools offer outside of meal programs - available in our nation's school...
Recent studies have demonstrated a connection between low-socioeconomic status and poor health in children. This study builds upon previous ...
This study examined the impact that race has on the prevalence of self-reported diabetes for Hispanic and non-Hispanic people. Data from the...
In this article, the authors consider the social, structural and symbolic effects of the recent and rapid spread of legal gambling in the Un...
Immigrants and their children are one of the fastest growing components of the U.S. population. One in five Americans under the age of 18 is...
Most studies investigating links between social capital and health have relied on work by Robert Putnam who conceptualized social capital as...
The present article considered cardiovascular patients' adherence to physicians' medication recommendations. Nonadherence was defined as fol...
This study examined the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children in the United States. Also of interest ...
The current article explored risk factors for iron deficiency for toddlers in the United States with a focus on Hispanic toddlers. Data from...
The research presented in this article compared the density and concentration of pro-tobacco media messages in African-American and White ma...
This article describes efforts to use information on influenza burden and vaccine efficacy to estimate how influenza vaccine recommendations...