ABSTRACT: The ethics of health information technology in oncology: emerging issues from both local and global perspectives.
Health information technology (HIT) is ever-increasing in complexity and has incrementally become a fundamental part of our everyday clinical lives. As HIT becomes more complex and commonplace, so do the questions it raises about stewardship and usage of data, along with the ethics of these applications. With the development of rapid-learning systems, such as ASCO’s CancerLinQ, careful thought about the ethics and applications of these technologies is necessary. This article uses the principles-based framework of modern bioethics to examine evolving ethical issues that arise in the context of HIT and also discusses HIT’s application in reducing cancer care disparities in the developing world. We recognize that this topic is quite broad, so here we provide an overview of the issues, rather than any definitive conclusions about a particular “correct path.” Our hope is to stimulate discussion about this important topic, which will increasingly need to be addressed in the oncology community.