Massachusetts Medical Society: Ethics and Digital Health: Exploring the Ethics, Safety, and Privacy of Health and Wellbeing Apps and Devices (2021 MMS Ethics Forum)

Ethics and Digital Health: Exploring the Ethics, Safety, and Privacy of Health and Wellbeing Apps and Devices (2021 MMS Ethics Forum)

Ethics and Digital Health: Exploring the Ethics, Safety, and Privacy of Health and Wellbeing Apps and Devices

Presented by the Committee on Ethics, Grievances, and Professional Standards, the Ethics Forum alerts physicians to the ethical implications of issues that arise in daily practice and offers information on issues at the intersection of ethics, medicine, and professionalism. The Ethics Forum at the Massachusetts Medical Society’s (MMS) 2021 Annual Meeting (recorded on May 6, 2021) explores issues of ethics, safety, and privacy with health and wellbeing apps and devices.




T. Desmond Brown, MD 

Dr. Brown is a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon practicing at Boston Medical Center. He is a native of New Orleans and attended Tulane University for college and medical school. He did a pediatric orthopaedic fellowship at the Dupont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE, and an outcomes research fellowship at Dartmouth College. He a past chair and current advisor to the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Committee on Ethics, Grievances, and Professional Standards.


John Torous, MD, MBI
Director of the Digital Psychiatry Division, Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

John Torous, MD, MBI is director of the digital psychiatry division, in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliated teaching hospital, where he also serves as a staff psychiatrist and assistant professor. He has a background in electrical engineering and computer sciences and received an undergraduate degree in the field from UC Berkeley before attending medical school at UC San Diego. He completed his psychiatry residency, fellowship in clinical informatics, and master's degree in biomedical informatics at Harvard. Dr. Torous is active in investigating the potential of mobile mental health technologies for psychiatry and has published over 200 peer reviewed articles and 5 books chapters on the topic. He serves as editor-in-chief for JMIR Mental Health, web editor for JAMA Psychiatry, and currently leads the American Psychiatric Association’s Health IT Committee.



Trina Histon, PhD 
Senior Principal Consultant for Prevention, Wellness & Digital Health, Kaiser Permanente

For the past two decades, Trina has built an extensive career in addressing prevention, wellness, behavior change, mental health and emotional wellness, obesity prevention and treatment in addition to translating the evidence into practice in healthcare in Ireland and the USA. Trina has worked in advising on and deploying digital health tools since 2010. Trina obtained a PhD in health psychology from University College Cork, Ireland. Trina has published on the topic of obesity and mental health and has spoken at numerous conferences. Trina has consulted on games for health including Kaiser Permanente’s “Amazing Food Detective” and on tech solutions for weight management (Picture it!) in collaboration with Ayogo. Trina has been invited to act as an expert advisor and to educate numerous organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control, CMS, National Committee for Quality Assurance, National Quality Forum, Prescription for Physical Activity Task Force, and the Obesity Society, Psyberguide, Digital Therapeutic Alliance and Ayogo. Trina is a member of the Society for Behavioral Medicine, The American Psychological Association, The Obesity Society, Digital Medicine Society, and NODE Health.

Intended Audience
This activity is designed for health care leaders, physicians, residents, other health care professionals and students in all health care professions.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the ethical and practical challenges clinicians face due to an increased prevalence of health and wellness applications and devices.
  • Identify potential risks and benefits of using health and wellness applications and devices in clinical practice.
  • Explain methods for evaluating health and wellness applications and devices.

Course Fees
Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) Physician Member: $30.00
MMS Resident/Student Member: $ Free
Non-Member Physician: $67.50
Non-Members Resident/Student: $15.00
Allied Health Professional/Other: $24.00

Format & Estimated Time to Complete: Video, 1.5 hours

Accreditation and Credit Information
Accreditation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement
The Massachusetts Medical Society designates this internet enduring material for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity meets the criteria for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for risk management study.

MOC Approval Statement
Through the American Board of Medical Specialties ("ABMS") ongoing commitment to increase access to practice relevant Maintenance of Certification ("MOC") Activities through the ABMS Continuing Certification Directory , this activity has met the requirements as an MOC Part II CME Activity (apply toward general CME requirement) for the following ABMS Member Boards:

Allergy and Immunology
Colon and Rectal Surgery
Family Medicine
Medical Genetics and Genomics
Nuclear Medicine
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Plastic Surgery
Preventive Medicine
Psychiatry and Neurology
Thoracic Surgery

National Commission on Certification of Physicians Assistant (NCCPA)
Physician Assistants may claim a maximum of 1.50 Category 1 credits for completing this activity. NCCPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society.

Exam/Assessment: A score of 70% or higher is required to receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Activity Term
Original Release Date: May 26, 2021
Review Date (s): N/A
Termination Date: May 26, 2024

Course Developers, Reviewers & Web Producer:
Jane E. Gagne, Manager, Accreditation and Education Compliance, NEJM Group Education
William Frank, Legal Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Massachusetts Medical Society
Thelma J. Tatten, Web Content Production Specialist, NEJM Group Education

System Requirements

Windows 10
Mac OSX 10.6 higher

Most modern browsers including:
IE 11+
Firefox 18.0+
Chrome latest version
Safari 12+

iOS devices beginning with OS version 10 or higher (includes, iPhone, ipad and iTouch devices)

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