STAT6001 Public Health Informatics: EHealthcare Security And Data Privacy Assessment 2 Answer

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Question :

Subject Code and Title
STAT6001: Public Health Informatics
Assessment 2: Evaluating eHealth/mHealth/Future of PHI
15 minutes presentation and 500 words summary
Learning Out
  1. Analyse legal, ethical and social equity principles surrounding the use of ICT for health
  2. Evaluate the ways that systems, infrastructure and resources can constrain the effective applications of ICT
  3. Assess the role of Health care information and communication technology (ICT) firms

Total Marks
100 marks


There are many ethical and legal challenges in eHealth and mHealth. Over the past few modules, you have been exposed to some of these challenges. In this module, you will prepare an assignment based on this learning.

To prepare for this Assessment:

  • Step 1: Choose one of the key ethical/legal challenges for eHealth and mHealth listed following the Assignment Criteria.
  • Step 2: Create and submit a 15 -minute presentation responding to one of the key ethical challenges for eHealth and mHealth. 
    • F2F students present in groups – in classes; 
    • OL students will be allocated into OL groups and will submit a recorded presentation on BB – in your group folders only. 
  • Step 3: Write a 500-word summary (one page) of your presentation, listing at least 5 references clearly, as a group and submit this after your presentation, in the relevant submission area.


Ethical, legal issues, risk, big data, sustainability and other key challenges for eHealth and mHealth:

  • Privacy and data protection: Security in the collection, storing and sharing of healthcare information. How is patient data adequately protected according to privacy law? How do different health professionals across different services (eg private general practitioners and pharmacists, public hospitals, other professionals in public and private health services) all share information smoothly for the best interests of patient care? What are the key ethical and legal challenges?
  • Data sovereignty: The notion that electronic data about patients is subject to the laws of the country, especially where global eTechnology providers are managing eHealth systems in other countries. This is one of the critical questions in big data and public health. Which law applies, when global technology companies based in one country are managing the data of patients in another country?
  • Developing interoperability: A term referring to when diverse systems operate together smoothly. What are the key ethical/legal issues?
  • eHealth equity and access: What access should people have to their own eHealthcare records, and what role are patient (consumer) and carer groups and NGOs playing in the governance of eHealth?
  • Governance with disparate systems: How does the proper governance of eHealth occur when health professionals may have different governance systems? What are the key ethical and legal challenges?
  • Risk management: Risk management in relation to the provision of information provided through telemedicine. What are the key risks, as well as the ethical and legal issues?
  • Standards and Quality of Health Information: Who is monitoring the standard and quality of healthcare information being provided online? Standards of health information provided through electronic means. An eHealth code of ethics has been developed to provide standards for health information provided through the internet. See this Rippen and Risk (2000), article:
  • Sale of medicines and products online: Consider this challenge with the recognition of the need to monitor and provide standards for online health products (see Liang et al., 2011). This issue is associated with counterfeit medicines, which are often available online. The WHO has developed guidelines for the combat of counterfeit medicines, which can be seen at this website:

Assignment Criteria :

  • Demonstrates an understanding of the chosen challenges of the eHealth/mHealth topic chosen and demonstrates understanding of the evidence (references) used in the presentation and report. (20%)
  • Critiques and responds to the challenges presented with recommendations and offers appropriate critique of fellow students’ presentations. (20%)
  • Analysis and application with synthesis of new knowledge. (20%)
  • Ethico-moral reasoning (recognises ethical and moral issues within a discipline and is able to reason based on these principles). (10%)
  • Effective Communication and teamwork (15%)
  • Uses academic conventions, including appropriate resources and referencing. (15%)
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Answer :


E-Health consists of major segment of Customer and Medical Information and important Meta data as depicted by the figure. The Information needs to be guarded, converted into easily accessible format and should help patients, doctors and end users in establishing a good healthcare system of the country (Kargl,,2008). It should also adhere to rules, regulations and policies made by the government and legislation of that particular country, thereby formulating clean and operational directives beneficial to the society on the whole.

For example eHealth Ontario Privacy and Data Protection Policy. This formulates how the eHealth policy will secure decision making to set some guidance and protocols for making the medical data, confidentiality principle, personal Health Information safe thereby maintaining its Integrity and access. This also entails how the Agency helps to achieve privacy compliance culture, a proper coordination among eHealth divisions and branches and also how to give safe environment to their staff and employees (Boric-Lubecke,,2014).

data privacy 


Data privacy and protection in eHealth is all about patient and other medical personal and private Information used by healthcare organizations, government, companies are being managed well in protected and authenticated environment (Li,,2010). These stakeholders should follow stringent common ground protocols and ethics for healthcare privacy and integrity. The data should be used at right place, right time and for the right kind of authenticated users in the system. Data should not stored for longer than required and medical policies should also adhere to these norms.

A major challenges comes in the form of health equity and accessibility making it necessary to achieve health justice through properly planned investments and policies. It is to be noted that health equity refers to social justice in health but not limited to equal sharing fo resoucres. The focus of health equity is on equal health outcomes made accessible for different groups of people in the society (Braeman et al., 2011). In other words, it si an ethical concept based on the principles of justice where the achievement of objectives refers to making health services accessible for every person in order meet his or her minimum health needs. Here, the emphasis should be on using ehealth tools to provde equal health care to elderly, poor, the uneducate and the disabled people in the society (Son, 2009). There is a need to remove any disparities arisng due to non availability of permanent hardware, software, skil set and staff members to ensure such eHealth care. This requires a collaborative approach from government, policy makers, health care providers, hospital management and social workers to move towards providing benefit to the society in a proper disciplined manner. This can be achieved through taking advantage of information and communication technology along to remove any ICT-driven health inequalities and make all health services accesible to different groups of peple in a society (Linares et al., 2012). 

The healthcare data authenticity can have some pivotal risks such as Central archiving attacks where the eHR from central server or repository is open to organizational level access by open networks by local and remote healthcare practitioners so can be exploited and may posit threat or danger for the sensitive medical records (Ball & Lillis, 2001).. Ownership of Medical Records to the right person; eHr has confusing roles in ownership of records. The question arises whether Ehr belongs to parental organizational unit or the patients or healthcare professionals who created them at first place. Communication channels tempering; The user friendly communication interface can be tampered on many pretexts as it is open to access in open networks thus sacrificing the integrity, authenticity and privacy of Medical Data. Data repudiation; The Legal liability of medical data origin and transfer must be thoroughly checked and provided very clearly, the repudiation of data roots must be avoided in all twisted circumstances maintaining a common platform.

Ensuring the Health Equity and accessibility.

There are many procedures through which we can ensure health equity for people in the society:

  1. Effective Interventions : It is necessary to implement interventions that are innovative and comply with the technical package in terms of synergy, evidence-based targeting and high-priority goals
  2. Partnering with public and private organziations: In order to improve health equity and accessibility it is important to follow a colaborative approch between private and publci organizations. The public organizations are required to bring in policies and private partners can reach out to people and health care centers to ensure delivery of services through efficeint networks, e-Health care systems and a transparent communication.
  3. Political Commitment: A strong political commitment in the form of policy support and availability of resoucres is necessary to be the key component of a eHealth plan ensuring accessibility to all sections and groups in the society. 


We have tried to portray eHealthcare security and privacy concerns along with health equity and access, the various sensitive data and all the potent, deeply researched methods to secure this data. Apart from all this, the other best ways to health equity and accessibilityunder eHealth Management Systems is through availability of resoucres and collorative approach followed by public –private partnerships. Also the adoption of personalized medicines is a strong way to address any disaparities in gealth care delivery while avoiding any stigmatization of individual patients. In summary, the analysis provides major challenges faced and opportunities available to improve health equity and access in the society.