Big Data Ethics Forum: "Ethical considerations of combining research, clinical practice and public health surveillance of infectious diseases in low income settings"
David Bonsall, Medawar Pathogen Research
Wednesday, 27 January 2021, 3pm to 4pm
This event will be held on Zoom, see link below.
AMPHEUS stands for Analytics and Microbiology for Precision Health and Epidemiology - a Unified Solution. This 5 year technology development, now at the end of its first year, will deliver a prototype high-throughput laboratory that employs pathogen-sequencing and integrated genomic analyses to process clinical samples for routine diagnostics, public health surveillance and research. The lab will provide more efficient systems for delivering timely clinical microbiological information on HIV and other diseases, while also obtaining pathogen-genomic information to optimise public health interventions aimed at disease prevention. The platform will be trialled in areas of the world where international standards for diagnostics and monitoring are currently unmet. AMPHEUS is a complete system that makes use of digital health technologies, like smartphones and vending machines, to broaden access to laboratory testing and timely reporting, while preserving linkage to follow up-care in the process. Disruptive technologies that may be employed by AMPHEUS raise a number of ethical issues, including: (i) benefits of broadening access to personalised health information versus not doing so, (ii) the risk of losing individuals to care by providing alternatives to existing clinic-based diagnostic systems (iii) a potential for “digital exclusion” (iv) issues of consent concerning a platform that serves the dual purpose of diagnostics and research (v) matters of privacy relating to the simultaneous collection of research and clinical data. This talk will provide a high-level description of the platform proposed, and an open discussion of the ethical issues that arise.