Ethics of digital mental health during COVID-19: Crisis and opportunities

Nicole Martinez-Martin, Ishan Dasgupta, Adrian Carter, Jennifer A. Chandler, Philipp Kellmeyer, Karola Kreitmair, Anthony Weiss, Laura Y. Cabrera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Social distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the adoption and implementation of digital mental health tools. Psychiatry and therapy sessions are being conducted via videoconferencing platforms, and the use of digital mental health tools for monitoring and treatment has grown. This rapid shift to telehealth during the pandemic has given added urgency to the ethical challenges presented by digital mental health tools. Regulatory standards have been relaxed to allow this shift to socially distanced mental health care. It is imperative to ensure that the implementation of digital mental health tools, especially in the context of this crisis, is guided by ethical principles and abides by professional codes of conduct. This paper examines key areas for an ethical path forward in this digital mental health revolution: privacy and data protection, safety and accountability, and access and fairness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere23776
JournalJMIR Mental Health
Volume7
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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