A Call to Commit to Ethical Healthcare Data

Posted in: Love Letters to Data
Wojciech Sierocki Quote

Dear Data,

Are you aware?

Are you aware of the potential locked within you and the power that you hold? Are you aware that you are the key to human progress – our evolution as a species? Are you aware how many lives could be saved if you were used correctly?

Data, I believe you can truly make all those things happen and more.

But have you felt the distance between you and medical and scientific researchers? Have you noticed the bias in your datasets and the lack of representation of some humans? Have you witnessed as unscrupulous people have misused your power and profited from those contributing to you?

I have.

Data, I know just how important you could be to researchers working to save and improve lives worldwide – if only they had access to you. I know how much of a difference you could make for so many people out there. But I also know that you’ve often been mistreated and used for the wrong reasons. I know that there are people out there who use you in a way that’s harmful or who don’t respect the rights of the people you represent.

That’s why we need to unlock your full potential, Data. That’s why we need you to be used ethically, to power research and progress and not purely profit. That’s why you need to be at the center of medical systems, with consent and privacy as core values. We need to work with you to give hope to millions and improve patient outcomes, while ensuring that your role is ethically implemented. We want to help people understand how important and valued you are.

Speaking for myself and the fellow data lovers at my company, we are committing to using you wisely, Data, to promoting systems of informed consent and shared rewards in the data economy. We are promising to treat you with care and doing everything we can to protect your privacy and anonymity. And for those of us working with you in the healthcare space, it is our responsibility to help create a world in which social good and individual rights are considered a crucial part of decisions made about you.

I hope you’re proud of us, Data, and what we can create. I hope you understand just how close we are to leaping forward in healthcare and medical science, that we’ve simply been lacking the right exchange system until now. I hope you realize the revolutionary advances you could create, from AI-powered early disease detection to finding cures and novel treatments. I hope that through you, countless lives are saved and hope is offered to the millions who are suffering.

Data, I hope that we can change the world together.

Yours truly,

Wojciech Sierocki, CEO, Data Lake

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