Ask someone who works in healthcare marketing, clinical research, or manufacturing to name the defining characteristics of their job. They’re likely to cite ethics right up there with improving human health.

Either voluntarily or as a consequence of prior transgressions, industry has had to create ethics codes, such as informed consent for human trials, good manufacturing practices, and corporate integrity agreements around marketing.


See also: Rise of the Health-tech Ethicist

We cling to these codes, and that may come in handy as technology such as machine learning, voice-enabled tools, and wearables come to healthcare. There’s no doubt the digital companies responsible for the proliferation of this tech are innovative.

However, ethics are often neglected, if stories behind startups such as Uber and Theranos are any guide.


This is a place where the medical and scientific communities have something to offer the data science community. The digital natives may teach healthcare incumbents a thing or two about cutting-edge algorithms, but ethics is a place of strength for our community.