STAT+: Digital health measures are gaining traction, but research on privacy and ethics is lagging

A catalyzing new review found virtually no research into ethics, security, and data rights of digital health measures — a worrying trifecta of blind spots for a field and an industry that will need the public’s trust to make a difference in health outcomes.

The promise of digital health measures like movement and heart rate have gained prominence during the pandemic, as doctor’s appointments shifted online and clinical trials were forced to go remote. Research into these measures is being steered both by academia and industry, including the tech titans whose wearable devices can drive the bulk of data collection.

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