Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Under the Watchful Smart Device Eye

Digital medicine could help people stay healthy by analyzing information from their smart devices in conjunction with their genetic testing results and environmental data, but as Newsweek writes, there's still the issue of privacy.

There are a number of ventures aimed at collecting, for instance, weight or blood pressure data from patients' smart devices to monitor their health and intervene before it becomes a problem or nudge the patient to take their medication regularly, it notes. Others like want to use a range of personal data from height and weight to ZIP code, 23andMe results, and fitness tracker data to help people manage their health, it says.

But Newsweek writes that this intense monitoring, especially if done by medical professionals, could bring up ethical issues and, as it's new, it's not yet clear how a wide range of patients would react to such monitoring.

"Clinicians need to start recognizing that not all patient health data should be homed at the medical institution," the Mayo Clinic's Tufia Haddad tells Newsweek. "The patients should have ownership, and they should be the gatekeepers. We're going to need to go to them to ask permission."