Bioethics of Things: on the algorithmization of moral deliberation in clinical practice

Patrici Calvo


Health, such as the industry, university or city, is immersed in a process of digital transformation generated by the possibility and technological convergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence on the one hand and their consequences on the other: hyperconnectivity, datafication and algorithmization. This is a process of transformation towards what has come to be called Smart Health, Health 4.0 or mHealth. However, despite the enormous potential that underlies the digitization of the healthcare sector, this process can have very negative effects both for the sector and its organizations and for the system’s user. One of the most worrying questions at this moment is the aspect and the force that bioethification is taking; that is, the process by which mass data on the opinions, preferences and behaviors of the hyperconnected users of the cyber-physical assistance system are stored, crossed and processed, on the basis of an utilitarian criterion, to determine through mathematical models what is morally valid. The aim of the present study is to analyze the present and future consequences of bioethification in the health field, as well as to propose guidelines to undertake a socially responsible and morally valid digitalization.

Key words: bioethification, moral deliberation, discursive ethics, clinical practice, smart health, smart hospital.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License [Updated on September 23, 2016].

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