Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
REZENDE, Edson José Carpintero et al. Ethics and eHealth: reflections for a safe practice. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.1, pp. 58-65. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892010000700009.
The term eHealth (or telemedicine, telehealth) has been used to describe activities that employ information and telecommunication technologies to deliver health care. Distance is an important factor hindering the delivery of many important services, such as diagnosis, treatment, prevention, health promotion, and health research assessment. Although eHealth can provide interesting solutions such as a second specialist opinion in geographically isolated areas, a large number of ethical and legal issues must be considered. It is essential to discuss, among others, aspects relating to safety and confidentiality; professional accountability; technical standards relating to digital recording, storage, and transmission of clinical data; copyright; authorization from professional regulatory bodies; and licensing for the remote practice of medicine. In Brazil, the Federal Council of Medicine has already established rules for telemedicine; however, it is still necessary to further this discussion to involve the entire health care sector. Since there are many eHealth projects being developed in Brazil, there is an urgent need to design protocols and training programs for all professionals involved.
Keywords : telemedicine; biomedical technology; medical informatics; bioethics; Brazil.