Maintaining high-touch in high-tech digital health monitoring and multi-omics prognostication: ethical, equity, and societal considerations in precision health for palliative care

John Noel Viana, Caitlin Pilbeam, Mark Howard, Brett Scholz, Zongyuan Ge, Carys Fisser, Imogen Mitchell, Sujatha Raman, Joan Leach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Advances in digital health, systems biology, environmental monitoring, and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to revolutionize health care, ushering a precision health future. More than disease treatment and prevention, precision health aims at maintaining good health throughout the lifespan. However, how can precision health impact care for people with a terminal or life-limiting condition? We examine here the ethical, equity, and societal/relational implications of two precision health modalities, (1) integrated systems biology/multi-omics analysis for disease prognostication and (2) digital health technologies for health status monitoring and communication. We focus on three main ethical and societal considerations: benefits and risks associated with integration of these modalities into the palliative care system; inclusion of underrepresented and marginalized groups in technology development and deployment; and the impact of high-tech modalities on palliative care's highly personalized and "high-touch" practice. We conclude with 10 recommendations for ensuring that precision health technologies, such as multi-omics prognostication and digital health monitoring, for palliative care are developed, tested, and implemented ethically, inclusively, and equitably.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-473
Number of pages13
JournalOMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • digital health
  • equity
  • ethics
  • palliative care
  • precision health
  • systems biology

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