Mobile health data: What may artificial intelligence do?

Digital devices such as smartwatches collect large amounts of health data. These can be analysed using artificial intelligence, a process that triggers many fears. The project addresses these concerns and clarifies the legal and ethical issues involved in the handling of this data.

  • Project description

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    Smartwatches and other portable devices can be used to record pulse and movement as well as other health-related information. Artificial intelligence methods are well suited for the analysis of this enormous amount of data for clinical or research purposes. We will use various combined methods to clarify ethical, legal and technological questions related to the collection and use of mobile health data. We will investigate the development of machine learning algorithms from a medical, ethical and legal point of view, using the collection and use of patient data in anaesthesia and cardiology as an example. By doing so, we aim to better understand data protection, the explainability of analysis methods and the concerns of medical personnel and patients.

  • Background

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    In hospitals, data is mainly collected for the purpose of establishing diagnoses and developing therapies. However, data can also be used for other purposes such as research. This process, referred to as secondary use, has raised a number of fears, especially with regard to the use of artificial intelligence in data analysis. These concerns have a major impact on the trust patients and society place in the involved technologies. The ethical and legal challenges related to the utilisation of mobile data have not yet been sufficiently clarified.

  • Aim

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    The four objectives of the project are:

    1. To understand the problems of data usage and analysis. Databases in anaesthesia and cardiology will serve as examples.
    2. To analyse the regulatory framework by studying the ethical and legal regulations in Switzerland and Europe.
    3. To collect new information in Switzerland concerning factors influencing the trust placed in digital technologies by medical staff and patients.
    4. To bring together the results of the three previous sub-projects in order to develop information and training material for the involved parties.
  • Relevance

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    Hospitals and other institutions collect large amounts of mobile health data. Concerns caused by these activities are likely to significantly hamper the development of useful technologies that could benefit patients. The project is committed to addressing these pressing ethical and legal issues. By identifying and taking patients' concerns seriously, the project aims to improve the explainability of the methods and data governance.

  • Original title

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    Ethical and Legal issues of Mobile Health-Data – Improving understanding and eXPlainability of digitaL transformAtion and data technologies using artificial IntelligeNce [EXPLaiN]