An Ethics Checklist for Digital Health Research in Psychiatry: Viewpoint

Psychiatry has long needed a better and more scalable way to capture the dynamics of behavior and its disturbances, quantitatively across multiple data channels, at high temporal resolution in real time. By combining 24/7 data—on location, movement, email and text communications, and social media—with brain scans, genetics, genomics, neuropsychological batteries, and clinical interviews, researchers will have an unprecedented amount of objective, individual-level data. Analyzing these data with ever-evolving artificial intelligence could one day include bringing interventions to patients where they are in the real world in a convenient, efficient, effective, and timely way. Yet, the road to this innovative future is fraught with ethical dilemmas as well as ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI).

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