Interrogating Justice and Ethics in Digital Health

A collaboration between the departments of Bio Informatics and Medical Humanities and Ethics

Engaging with data is a civic requirement. Technical expertise must include engagement with the ethical issues and policy implications related to emerging data-driven techniques. The biomedical, health, and clinical domains are going through in-depth changes as artificial intelligence and data-driven thinking are become inherent to routine processes. How will knowledge production in health data science determine what counts as healthy, normal or disease in individuals and groups? Who will get access to what care and at what price when treatment recommendations are guided by artificial intelligence? The purpose of this course is to engage students in thinking about the ethical issues and social implications of the creation, analysis and application of data in health. This multi-disciplinary course will teach students to situate data technologies within their socio-political contexts and to examine the social life of data and its impact on society. Students will become adept at identifying and analyzing how the management and interpretation of data impacts and is impacted by social, economic and political processes.

This collaborative course will provide innovative materials and hands-on experience to students through (1) a series of use cases that reflect ongoing themes in ethics and justice in digital health, and corresponding simulated datasets & computational tools for students to engage with; (2) collaborative, multi-disciplinary work on a research project at the intersection of ethics and digital health for students to synthesize their skills and knowledge acquired during the course; and (3) mentoring for students to write an op-ed on a specific topic in ethics for digital health targeted at the general public. Particular attention will be paid to evaluation metrics and sustainability of the course when designing the course.

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