Ethical Considerations

 

Before the implementation of new technology, there are oftentimes concerns regarding the ethical and legal significance. One of the first ethical concerns regarding the use of mobile health (mHealth) is the compliance with HIPPA laws. These were written federal laws in 1996 that protects personal health information and medical records. Some might wonder if connecting with a doctor over the use of technological devices such as live video conferencing and remote patient monitoring would protect their health information. However, many of the applications being utilized and produced allow for confidential communication between the patient and provider through a 2-way secure protocol.

 

It is also important to keep in mind that the target populations for the use of these technologies might not have the knowledge to use them properly. Ensuring that there is training among patients and providers on the correct way to utilize these applications, the best possible patient outcomes will be achieved. In addition to this, an ethical concern is the ability for patient’s to afford mHealth options. An abundance of insurance companies are beginning to provide coverage for Telemedicine visits. Providing information regarding these insurance companies will allow for patient’s to know if their services will be covered or not.

 

Finally, the universal Code of Ethics needs to be followed while implementing and executing these new technological healthcare advancements. This is a set of moral rules and standards that all healthcare professionals are expected to abide by. They include, non-maleficence, or avoiding the causation of harm, beneficence which entails a moral authority to do good, autonomy, or allowing the patient to make their own medical decisions, and justice which is providing fair and equal support and treatment to all patients regardless of background.