Published June 14, 2024 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Navigating Digital Health Research Ethics: Insights from a South African Context

  • 1. ROR icon University of South Africa


  • 1. ROR icon University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
  • 2. ROR icon University of Pretoria


Research ethics committees are responsible for promoting academic integrity in research projects. They must ensure that researchers abide by the code of ethics that are relevant to the type of research being conducted. Digital Health research, which is at the intersection of information systems research and health research, is categorized as health research by South African research ethics com-mittees. This results in researchers following often unnecessary research ethics processes prior to commencing their research project. This research uses the first author’s PhD research as a case study to set the scene for Digital Health research ethics processes. A content analysis of three ethics policy documents revealed that there is no concrete definition for Digital Health research, which conse-quently leaves a gap in the research ethics processes. This led to recommenda-tions aimed at research ethics committees and the relevant research ethics policy makers.


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