Tia’s Journey with Breast Cancer – Ethical Issues Arising from Data Use for Digital Health Technologies

Ms Rochelle Style1, Dr  Matthew Strother2

1R L Style Consulting, Wellington, New Zealand, 2University of Otago , Christchurch, NZ

We present a fictitious case of Tia, a young Māori woman, and her journey with breast cancer as she encounters emerging health technologies (EHTs) such as the use of decision-support apps, on-line calculators and embedded medical software.

We address some of the ethical, cultural and governance issues in these EHTs in a New Zealand context with a view to helping minimize the risk of harm while maximizing the benefit of their development.  This perspectives’ session engages with the audience, through live-voting embedded throughout the presentation, to gain the audience’s perspectives on issues ranging from transparency, explainability and accountability.

At the end of the presentation, the audience should have the knowledge/skills to recognize ethical concerns in algorithm use in medicine, be familiar with how they impact on Māori and recognize important governance issues in their clinical use.


Dr. Matthew Strother, MD, FRACP received a BA in Biomedical Ethics from Indiana University, an MD from Indiana University School of Medicine, and subsequently trained in Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology, and Medical Oncology.  He has experience in clinical trials, basic and translational laboratory science, as well as research and program development in resource constrained care environments.   He moved to Christchurch, NZ in 2015, and in addition to his work as an SMO in CDHB, he is a Senior Clinical Lecturer at University of Otago Christchurch.   He is presently pursuing a PhD in Critical Appraisal of Statistical Models in Healthcare under Associate Professor Ben Daniel, University of Otago.

Rochelle Style has an Honours Degree in Law and a Masters of Bioethics & Health Law (Distinction).

She was a partner in one of New Zealand’s leading law firms, Bell Gully, and acted as Litigation Counsel on behalf of PHARMAC during challenges to its reference pricing model and competition issues, as well as opposing patent extensions.

Rochelle now consults in the bioethics space.  She is a current Ministerial appointee on the Northern A Health and Disability Ethics Committee and was a member of an expert Working Party appointed by the Ministry of Health to update the National Ethical Health Research guidelines.   She was also a member of the Capital & Coast DHB’s Clinical Ethics Advisory Group for 5 years. also an independent researcher and has published on the governance of health data research in New Zealand.  She has given lectures and presentations on data ethics and Artificial Intelligence & Ethics to a wide range of groups.

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