Ethics of the Health-Related Internet of Things: A Narrative Review

19 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2017 Last revised: 1 Aug 2017

See all articles by Brent Mittelstadt

Brent Mittelstadt

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Date Written: July 04, 2017


The Internet of Things is increasingly spreading into the domain of medical and social care. Internet-enabled devices for monitoring and managing the health and well-being of users outside of traditional medical institutions have rapidly become common tools to support healthcare. Health-related Internet of Things (H-IoT) technologies increasingly play a key role in health management, for purposes including disease prevention, real-time tele-monitoring of patient’s functions, testing of treatments, fitness and well-being monitoring, medication dispensation, and health research data collection. H-IoT promises many benefits for health and healthcare. However, it also raises a host of ethical problems stemming from the inherent risks of Internet enabled devices, the sensitivity of health-related data, and their impact on the delivery of healthcare. This paper maps the main ethical problems that have been identified by the relevant literature and identifies key themes in the on-going debate on ethical problems concerning H-IoT.

Keywords: Internet of things, data ethics, medicine, data analytics, privacy, review, health, bioethics

Suggested Citation

Mittelstadt, Brent, Ethics of the Health-Related Internet of Things: A Narrative Review (July 04, 2017). Ethics and Information Technology, 2017 , Available at SSRN: or

Brent Mittelstadt (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

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