Enhancing Ethical Awareness through Practical Engagement with Mobile Media

Huggard, M. and McGoldrick, Ciarán (2014) Enhancing Ethical Awareness through Practical Engagement with Mobile Media. In: International Conference on Engineering Education and Research (iCEER2014-McMaster), McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario from August 24 to 26, 2014, Ontario, Canada.


Ubiquitous computing technologies play a critical role in the monitoring and assessment of a patient’s physical health and medical well-being. They can provide medical practitioners with a way to bridge the gap between intermittent consultations, by providing them with insight into a patient’s day-to-day activity and physiological condition. Such applications of technology give rise to many challenging ethical questions, from the end-to-end confidentiality and security of the data collected to the privacy of each individual patient. In this paper we detail a practical laboratory task where final year undergraduate students design, implement and validate a mobile media system to gather data on patient behavior and well-being that can be reported back to a medical practitioner for review prior to a meeting with the patient. We evaluate the students’ experience of working with a range of mobile, wireless technologies and devices such as Android smart phones, tablets and wireless sensing platforms. We explore how their perception of the technologies they use evolves and how their engagement with the project enhances their ethical awareness of the use of such technologies.

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