In this paper, the author analyzes the legal, structural, and ethical concerns around digital health and provide an understanding of the problems these shortcomings pose.
Dipika Jain, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital healthcare has gained an influx of interest and global investment. The WHO has published guidelines and recommendations for countries to successfully implement telemedicine on a large, nationwide scale. This is not only helpful for patients who wish to protect themselves from COVID-19 and related illnesses that they may be vulnerable to, but it also has great potential to increase access to healthcare.
In India, a country without universal healthcare grappling with a high level of distrust in the public health system, there are several implementation challenges for digital healthcare across the country. The current laws in India that regulate technology do not explicitly address telehealth, nor are there adequate data protection laws in place that could manage the significant amount of data that would be generated by digital healthcare if applied on a large scale.
Further, there are concerns at the level of patient privacy, which could be compromised through digital healthcare. In addition to the legal concerns surrounding privacy, there is no framework in place to ensure informed consent in a digital healthcare context.
In this paper, I analyze the legal, structural, and ethical concerns around digital health and provide an understanding of the problems these shortcomings pose, as well as policy recommendations for overcoming these problems.
Published in: Healthcare
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