Towards responsible research in digital technology for health care

by   Pierre Jannin, et al.

Digital technology is everywhere for the benefit of our daily and professional life. It strongly impacts our life and was crucial to maintain professional and social activities during the COVID19 crisis. Similarly, digital technologies are key within biomedical engineering research topics. Innovations have been generated and introduced over the last 40 years, demonstrating how computing and digital technologies have impacted health care. Although the benefits of digital technology are obvious now, we are at the convergence of several issues which makes us aware about social, societal and environmental challenges associated with this technology. In the social domain, digital technologies raise concern about exclusion (financial, geographical, educational, demographical, racial, gender, language, and disabled related exclusion) and physical and mental health. In the societal dimension, digital technologies raise concern about politics and democracy (sovereignty and governance, cognitive filters and citizen's engagement), privacy and security (data acquisition and usage transparency, level of personal approval, and level of anonymization), and economics. In the environmental dimension, digital technologies raise concern about energy consumption and hardware production. This paper introduces and defines these challenges for digital technology in general, as well as when applied to health care. The objective of this paper is to make the research community more aware about the challenges of digital technology and to promote more transparency for innovative and responsible research.


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