The Digital healthcare ethics laboratory (Digit-HeaL) has published a new scientific article entitled “Ethical, Legal and Social Issues of Digital Phenotyping as a Future Solution for Present-Day Challenges: A Scoping Review” in the journal Science and Engineering Ethics (IF = 3.525). The article is authored by Ana Tomičić and Anamaria Malešević, who are members of the Digit-HeaL lab research group, and by the head of the lab group, Anto Čartolovni. The paper is available at this link.

The article discusses the ethical, legal and social issues of digital phenotyping as a future solution to today’s challenges. Digital phenotyping represents an avenue of consideration in patients’ self-management. The aim of the authors was to explore the trends in the body of literature on ethical, legal, and social challenges relevant to the implementation of digital phenotyping technologies in healthcare. The authors systematically identified relevant literature, characterised the discussed technology, and the proposed solutions to identified challenges. In general, the literature concentrates on technical rather than ethical, legal, and social perspectives, which limits understanding of the more complex cultural and social factors in which digital phenotyping technologies are embedded. Ethical, legal and social issues issues mostly concern privacy, security, consent, lack of regulation, and issues of adoptability, and seldom expand to more complex ethical issues. Trust was chosen as an umbrella theme of a continuum of major ethical, legal, social and technical issues. Sustained critical analysis of digital phenotyping showed to be sparse and geographically exclusive. There is a continuum and overlap between ethical, legal and social issues, suggesting the need for a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to each of the challenges posed by the various technologies of digital phenotyping.

This article was completed with the support of the Croatian Science Foundation within the framework of the research project “(New) Ethical and Social Challenges of Digital Technologies in the Field of Health Care” (UIP-2019-04-3212).