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Mobile Technology Assignment: Impacts of Smartphones on Healthcare

Question

Task: Smart technologies are on the rise. There is a body of literature discussing the key benefits of Smart Technologies; however smart technologies also introduce many ethical issues.

Digital Divide
Access is a crucial component in the digital divide. It involves obstacles that exist even if all the other remaining indicators are in place. Such obstacles may include, but are not limited to, costs involved in acquiring the technologies, availability of free or low-cost facilities in the neighbourhood, the ability to travel to places where there are low-cost access points such as libraries and community centres, and having the capacity needed to utilize the technologies. These obstacles can broadly be grouped into five categories: geography, income, ethnicity, age, and education. [Source: Kizza J.M. History of Computing. In: Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age, 2010, Texts in Computer Science. Springer, London]

There has been a debate on the existence of the digital divide. What is your opinion? Is there one or not? Discuss.

Is there anything like equal access to computing technology? In otherwise is it achievable in any society? Discuss.

Technologies such as google glass and smart watches are coming into workplace. Given the intrusive natures of these technologies it is easy for employees to take video or photographs of other people at work and share it with others. What ethical issues arise from use of wearable technologies in workplace?

Smart phones are being used by nurses for clinical communications and workflow in hospitals. Using smart phones to record patient data introduces ethical issues involving patient privacy. Identify what privacy risks arise in such a context and explain the risks in detail.

Cyberbullying has been a significant issue globally over the past few years. Cyber-technology has exacerbated this problem due to proliferation of mobile applications in the marketplace. You receive notification from a third party through one of the Apps that you use inviting you to participate in an event. You are not sure how they received your details. Discuss what security issues arise due to sharing of too much personal information on social media Apps.

As workers have changed their work habits from working 40 h a week in the workplace environment to sharing those 40 h between being at the workplace and commuting to the workplace, the 9-to-5 time schedule for the majority of workers has started to crumble, with many moving their work locales outside of the normal confines of time and space. Studies show that the largest number of workers doing their work outside their primary place of work do it in their homes. According to figures reported by Kraut, the percentage of home office workers or telecommuters in the total US work force by 1960 was 3%, but numbers have been on the rise ever since. Snizek, quoting a US Bureau of Statistics report, puts the percentage of the US total work force working at least 6-8 h per week telecommuting at 30% as of 1995. Discus how does technology affect the work environment today? [Source: Kizza J.M. History of Computing. In: Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age, 2010, Texts in Computer Science. Springer, London]

Answer

Introduction
This study of mobile technology assignment illustrates the use of smart-phones that has revolutionized the business world tremendously and in the same way these gadgets have taken the central place in the healthcare industry. Mobile technology has the great potential to improve further the quality of healthcare sector’s services. Smartphone usage has facilitated easy and quick passage of information from one end to another at any point of time and from anywhere. However, it also raises certain challenges and risks for the users of mobile technology in healthcare industry such as physicians, nurses, patients and so on. Especially, for the patients it causes various security and privacy concerns. The benefit of smartphone’s use could be heavily undermined if the abuse and its over usage is not kept in regular check.

mobile technology assignment

In the modern world, healthcare organisations maintains medical records of their patients using the M-health technology whereby data is stored in electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets (Luxton, McCann, Bush, Mishkind, & Reger, 2011). These medical records contain the private and personal information of the patients, their photos for the purpose of provision of clinical care services to the patients or any other decision making in the related areas (Chen,Park, & Putzer, 2010).. Such record might be highly sensitive in nature and might affect the patient and the medical organizations if it is lost or leaked. It might cause the medical organizations various disciplinary, regulatory or criminal actions. Hence, in today’s world protection of patient’s privacy has become a key issue due to increasing number of data-attacks.

There is high potential of data security breaches while using mobile technology as mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets are more vulnerable to the risk of being hacked, stolen or lost. Therefore, recording, maintaining and transferring patient related information or pictures on various platforms such as Google plus, Facebook, Dropbox, iCloud and so on. The sensitive and private data can easily go public if proper safeguards are not present there.

It is quite known by far that the most of the information whether it is related to physiological, behavioral or social status of the patient, collected and stored in the mHealth systems is quite personal. Hence such data must remain confidential and when it is used for research purposes it must be made available unanimously where the individual identities of the patients are not traceable from the data. Therefore, the most common privacy risk in relation to smartphone usage in healthcare industry is Anonymization. Though it is believed that mobile sensor data and information provides the researchers an unprecedented opportunity to make quantification of complex dynamics in medical areas such as biological, psychological, physical, behavioral factors of diseases but at the same time mobile sensor information can also lead to disclosure of patient’s private information (Moore & Jayewardene, 2014). For instance, GPS features in smartphones make it possible data in context of geo-exposures and the movement patterns of the patients such as their physical activities, driving patterns. The GPS feature cannot only reveal the identity of the user but also the places visited by them which are sometimes quite private. Thus, sharing raw form of mobile sensor data raises re-identification risk.

Secondly, there is another risk mentioned in this mobile technology assignment which is relate to behavioral privacy of the patients. Measurements taken using the mobile devices can certainly provide unique visibility to the client’s health status, stress level, addictive behavior, sedentary behavior and various other factors which thereby help the medical researchers in understanding the etiology of various complex human diseases in the better way (Boulos, Wheeler, Tavares, & Jones, 2011). However, such sharing of data casts privacy risks and challenges for the healthcare entities. For instance, data recorded in audio form in mobile phones could reveal about the controversial and emotional characteristics, exposure to video games and other playing activities but it could also disclose the private and intimate information of the patients.

Further, usage of smartphones in healthcare industry also carries the risk of continuous and the unintended sensing. Continuous streaming of long term data from different sensors help the healthcare professionals to gather useful health related information about the users and their behavioral patterns. For instance, continuously reviewing the audio recordings of the patients in case of therapist’s sessions improves their marital relations with their spouses. However, it can lead to capturing and unrevealing of private and non-consenting conversations.

From the above discussion within this mobile technology assignment, it can now be established that use of smartphones can actually bring dramatic growth and success to the healthcare industry of an economy but at the same time it can impose certain risks and challenges for the users of such technology. Mobile devices such as smartphones are mobile in their very nature and hence they are more prone to the risk of loss of device, data hacking on the phones, data loss or damage etc. Medical professionals stores important medical data of their clients on the smartphones which is sensitive and personal in nature to a significant level and hence if it is lost or leaked it can cause them huge repercussions such as disciplinary actions, loss of image and so on. Mobile technology assignments are being prepared by our information technology assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable assignment help online service.

Reference List
Boulos, M. N. K., Wheeler, S., Tavares, C., & Jones, R. (2011). How smartphones are changing the face of mobile and participatory healthcare: an overview, with example from eCAALYX. Biomedical engineering online, 10(1), 24.

Chen, J., Park, Y., & Putzer, G. J. (2010). An examination of the components that increase acceptance of smartphones among healthcare professionals. Mobile technology assignment. Electronic journal of health informatics, 5(2), 16.

Luxton, D. D., McCann, R. A., Bush, N. E., Mishkind, M. C., & Reger, G. M. (2011). mHealth for mental health: Integrating smartphone technology in behavioral healthcare. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42(6), 505.

Moore, S., & Jayewardene, D. (2014). The use of smartphones in clinical practice. Nursing Management, 21(4).

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