Identifying Ethical Considerations for Machine Learning Healthcare Applications

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Danton S. Char , Michael D. Abràmoff & Chris Feudtner

Tag(s): Journal article


Along with potential benefits to healthcare delivery, machine learning healthcare applications (ML-HCAs) raise a number of ethical concerns. Ethical evaluations of ML-HCAs will need to structure the overall problem of evaluating these technologies, especially for a diverse group of stakeholders. This paper outlines a systematic approach to identifying ML-HCA ethical concerns, starting with a conceptual model of the pipeline of the conception, development, implementation of ML-HCAs, and the parallel pipeline of evaluation and oversight tasks at each stage. Over this model, we layer key questions that raise value-based issues, along with ethical considerations identified in large part by a literature review, but also identifying some ethical considerations that have yet to receive attention. This pipeline model framework will be useful for systematic ethical appraisals of ML-HCA from development through implementation, and for interdisciplinary collaboration of diverse stakeholders that will be required to understand and subsequently manage the ethical implications of ML-HCAs.

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