Ethical Principles

At Koa Health, we believe that being trusted and trustworthy is critical to our mission to help people improve their health, and that being ethical underpins this trust.

On evolving and learning

In developing our ethics strategy, we recognise that there is still so much that we don’t know when it comes to the application of digital technology, and especially machine learning to health.

Thus far no society has yet developed and iterated a set of norms and behaviours to ensure technology’s optimum functionality for everyone in that society. With so much that remains unknown, we’re sure that we will need to evolve our approach as we and others experiment and learn.

We therefore welcome comments and input on our ethical principles and commitments, and the work that serves as their foundation – please send any feedback to hello@koahealth.com.

If we are to harness technology to improve health then we must all help to build the new norms and behaviours to make these technologies a positive force in our everyday lives.

Our Ethical Principles and Commitments

In the effort to make it clear what it means to Koa Health to act ethically, we’re sharing our ethical principles below:

Improving your health and happiness

  • We aim to support our users in achieving their optimal1 balance of health and happiness.
  • Our recommendations are not based on discriminatory biases2.

Putting you in control

  • We follow best practice in giving users control over how we use their personal data.
  • We deploy the best available techniques to prevent users becoming addicted to any of our services.

Being understandable and transparent

  • We explain how our services work to support you in having the greatest possible health and happiness, aiming for a reading age of no more than 11.
  • We publish ethical approvals of our research and external audits of our work, although some commercially sensitive information may be removed.

Securing your data

  • We use state-of-the-art industry standards of encryption to protect your data.
  • Our products and services are designed to preserve as much privacy as possible, for you and your community.

Being accountable

  • We hold external audits at least once annually to assess progress against our ethics strategy, including algorithmic audits.
  • We do not (and will not) generate revenue by serving adverts to end-users of our services.

1 By optimal, we mean that we seek to maximise a user’s health status without significantly reducing their pleasure, purpose, or sense of control, and without widening or reinforcing any inequalities experienced by our user. See Koa Health’s Ethics Strategy Governance Framework for more information.

2 A discriminatory bias is one that widens or reinforces any inequalities experienced by our users. In assessing our recommendations for bias we will pay particular attention to protected characteristics under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 21 (such, as gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, beliefs).

Learn more about how we developed our Ethical Principles and Commitments, as well as how we deliver them and govern them at the following links:

Koa Health’s Approach to Ethics
Koa Health’s Ethics Strategy Delivery Plan
Koa Health’s Ethics Strategy Governance Framework

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