The Vitality Institute is an action-oriented global research organization working to strengthen the evidence base about what works and what doesn’t work in health promotion and disease prevention. We are uniting leaders in both the public and private sectors to transform this evidence into action and create a healthier society.
The Institute was founded in 2013 by Discovery Limited, South Africa’s largest health insurance company, as part of its commitment to health promotion and well-being programs that advance social good.
Gillian Christie is a Health Innovation Analyst at Vitality. Kevin Patrick is Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health, University of California, San Diego. Derek Yach is the Chief Health Officer at Vitality.
Personalized health technology – wearable tracking devices, embeddable sensors, and diagnostic testing – enables self-quantification and modification of health behaviors. It has potential to minimize the prevalence of chronic diseases by targeting leading risk factors. These include physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and medication non-adherence.
Many individuals do not reap the benefits of personalized health technology because of poor design or unaffordability. Data from this technology can further invade individual privacy and confidentiality. Facilitating sustained uptake and acceptability of personalized health technology requires a framework that evaluates its ethical, legal, and social implications.
The Guidelines for Personalized Health Technology are principles for the responsible innovation of personalized health technologies and the appropriate stewardship of data from these technologies. The guidelines are:
1. Build health technologies informed by science
2. Scale affordable health technologies
3. Guide interpretation of health data
4. Protect and secure health data
5. Govern the responsible use of health technology and data
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