Legal and Ethical Issues Arising from the Use of Emerging Technologies in Paediatric Type 1 Diabetes
Mobile health apps and wearable devices are widely available. They provide an opportunity to monitor and track health metrics continuously, and in real time, thus enabling diagnosis and chronic condition management to take place outside a hospital setting. The digital data produced can be shared with healthcare providers, researchers, and on social media. In this paper, we explore some of the legal and ethical challenges for doctors of these emerging technologies, by focusing on the example of management of childhood diabetes using continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps. We identify and explicate these challenges through an analysis of three different case scenarios, all hypothetical but all realistic and reflective of current experiences of doctors caring for children with Type I Diabetes. We argue that current legal and ethical approaches can effectively be applied in determining duties of healthcare professionals using emerging technologies, whilst recognising the significant change in the nature of the doctor-patient relationship and the perception of therapeutic benefit of some technologies.
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