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UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SYDNEY
31272 Project Management and the Professional
Assignment 1 – Autumn 2015
Marks: 20 marks (20%)
Submission Components: Hardcopy Report
Submission Due: 6pm Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Report Submission To: Tutor or assignment box CB11
Length: 2,500 words (excluding title page, toc, exec summary, etc.)
Anticipated Commitment: 12 hours per student
Objectives/Graduate Attributes: 4, 5 / A1, B3, B4, B6, E1, F1, F3
This is an individual assignment
Technology development is occurring swiftly. In particular, the Internet’s ability to access,
capture and make available information has prompted a range of small paid applications
(apps) to be developed for mobile devices. These can allow everything from checking the
weather to gambling on games of chance – all without leaving your seat. The commercial
value is obvious but sometimes the accuracy and ethics behind certain types of apps is
unclear. In fact, one could say that Internet mobile technology (and its potential for
use/misuse) has been growing faster than either the law or ethics have been able to match.
In this assignment you will discuss the ethics of a real-life situation as reported in the public
domain (see the attached case study). It concerns the commercial development and sale of
medical apps to customers who can then provisionally self-diagnose health conditions as an
alternative to seeking consultation with a licenced medical practitioner. As a project
management student who in future mayhelp develop apps (or have privileged access to
information provided by their use) such issues could be quite relevant to your long-term roles
and activities within the technology sector.
While the original text for the attached case study can be found in the references provided at
the end, you are also expected to further research the topic for yourself.
Tasks and Assessment
This assessment requires that you prepare a report in three parts, answering all of the
following questions in each section. You are expected to conceptualise the problem or issue,
find relevant references for context, facts, theory and examples and come up with appropriate
points of view. Your positions should be supported with argument and citations as
appropriate. Marks will also be awarded for presentation and professionalism of the response.
1) Stakeholder Ethics (6 marks)
a) Identify at least 3 key stakeholders relevant to this case study. For each key
stakeholder describe the situation and reasoning from their perspective.
b) Explain the major areas of conflict, if any, between these perspectives.
c) For each stakeholder group identified, select what you believe is the relevant ethical
view taken (e.g. Deontology, Consequentialism, Relativism, Universalism, Virtue
Ethics, Justice Ethics, Ethical Pluralism, etc.). Explain your answer. 31272 PMP Assignment 1 2
2) International Codes of Ethics (6 marks)
Many could potentially be affected by the actions of those developing mobile apps for
commercial use. Research the ethics and codes of conduct for Information Technology
industry bodies representing Australia (e.g. Australian Computer Society (ACS)) plus
two other nations or international groups (e.g. Association for Computer Machinery
(ACM), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), British Computer
Society (BCS), Computer Society of India (CSI), Institute of IT Professionals, New
Zealand (IITP), etc.).
Answer the following questions:
a) What evaluation would each Code likely render on the case study situation described?
Which (if any) position would the Codes most likely support? Supply clear reasoning
for both these points.
b) What are the major differences (if any) between the three ethical codes of conduct you
have reviewed in relation to the case study situation? Justify your answer with specific
references to items within both the case study and the Codes themselves.
3) Subjective Code of Ethics (6 marks)
a) What do you personally think of the circumstances described in the case study?
Explain your own individual ethical viewpoint in regard to the situation outlined and
give your personal assessment of stakeholder groups involved. Are they justified in
their points of view?
b) Nominate at least 3 other ethical/legal issues that you see potentially arising from the
spread of Internet/technology use and the ability to make information widely available.
Explain why these are now, or could become, problems.
Additional: Report Presentation and Standard of Work (2 marks)
The report should be written as if for a professional audience and not just as an attempt to
satisfy an academic course requirement. It should communicate clearly, exhibit attention
to detail and present to a high standard, including:
Title page (student number, name, tutor name, tutorial number, report title) – in
addition to the FEIT cover sheet properly filled in;
Executive summary, table of contents, page numbers, heading numbers, etc.;
Headings for assignment sections plus short Introduction and Conclusion sections;
Appropriate use of quotes and diagrams (where applicable);
Assertions and statistics backed up by properly cited sources where needed;
Correct Harvard/UTS referencing;
Correct length – deals fully/appropriately with each topic without verbosity;
Report clarity – including depth of analysis and correct English expression/spelling.
Note (repeating students only): If you have previously attempted 31272 you may re-use
your assignment 1 mark from that time. If so, you MUST email the Subject Coordinator
with your Student Id and previous semester by 5pm, 27 March 2015. Return confirmation
should be kept. Failure to obtain written confirmation by the nominated date means this
current assignment is to be undertaken as normal.
All material derived from other works must be acknowledged and referenced
accordingly using the Harvard/UTS Referencing Style. For more information see:
http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/help/referencing/harvard-uts-referencing-guide 31272 PMP Assignment 1 3
Late submission of the assignment will attract a penalty per the Subject Outline. Special
consideration for late submission must be arranged beforehand with subject co-ordinator.
Students are reminded of the principles laid down in the “Statement of Good Practice and
Ethics in Informal Assessment” (in the Faculty Handbook). Unless otherwise stated in a
specific handout, all assessment tasks in this subject should be your own original work.
Any collaboration with another student (or group) should be limited to those matters
described in “Acceptable Behaviour” section of the Handbook. For essay questions,
students should pay particular attention to the recognition of “Plagiarism” as described in
that section of the Handbook. Any infringement by a student will be considered a breach
of discipline and will be dealt with in accordance with Rules and By-Laws of the
University. Penalties such as zero marks for assignments or subjects may be imposed.
Improve Your Academic and English Language Skills
HELPS (Higher Education Language and Presentation Support) Service provides
assistance with English proficiency and academic language. Students needing to develop
their written and/or spoken English can make use of the free services offered by HELPS,
including academic language workshops, vacation courses, drop-in consultations,
individual appointments and [email protected] (www.ssu.uts.edu.au/helps). HELPS is
located in Student Services, on level 3 building 1 City campus and the Student Services
area at Kuring-gai campus. Phone 9514-2327 or 9514-2361.
The Faculty of Engineering and IT intranet (MyFEIT):
and Faculty Student Guide:
provide information about services and support available to students within the Faculty.
Useful Hints for This Assignment
1. ACS code of ethics and code of professional conduct can be found at:
2. The UTS Library on-line Journal Database may help with your research. It is
accessible from http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/databases/search_databases.py. You need to
activate your UTS e-mail account (http://webmail.uts.edu.au/ ) in order access the
resource through out-of-campus facilities.
3. The Executive Summary summarises the report’s findings and recommendations. It can
stand by itself as an overview of your ideas. Write it last. In contrast, an Introduction tells
the reader what the report is going to cover. 31272 PMP Assignment 1 4
Assignment 1 Case Study
These Medical Apps Have Doctors and the FDA Worried
By Robert McMillan
29 July 2014
Iltifat Husain has seen an awful lot of sickness and injury during his time as an
emergency room doctor, but lately, he’s worried about something new. He’s worried
about the ill effects of mobile healthcare apps.
There are hundreds of medically themed apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play,
and by most accounts, they’ve been wonderful tools for tracking, evaluating, and
taking control of our personal health. Husain loves apps such as Draw MD, which lets
physicians draw out surgical procedures for patients, and MicroMedex, a prescription
drug reference encyclopedia. But he’s concerned about the emergence of untested
apps that are marketed as replacements for legitimate medical equipment—apps
such as Instant Blood Pressure, which purports to take your blood pressure by way
of the iPhone.
According to Husain, a faculty member in the Emergency Medicine department at the
Wake Forest University School of Medicine, these apps could very well land
someone in his E.R.—and maybe even get them killed.
He’s not alone in his concern. With an editorial in The New England Journal of
Medicine last week, Nathan Cortez, an associate professor of law at Southern
Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas, called attention to this
problem, and you’ll hear much same complaint from Eric Topol, a medical doctor and
director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. “These apps have no validated
data compared with accepted reference standards and therefore are quite
concerning,” he says.
Although Husain believes these apps could be seriously harmful, the good news is
that the FDA says it is now working to crack down on questionable healthcare apps,
and some app makers may be willing to provide additional disclosures about their
software when pushed to do so.
To illustrate his concern, Husain points to Instant Blood Pressure, which claims it can
take a blood pressure reading in under a minute “using only your iPhone—no cuff 31272 PMP Assignment 1 5
required.” The $3.99 app has been among the top 30 most-downloaded apps in the
Health and Fitness section of the App Store for the past few weeks, and it features
several glowing reviews. According to the app’s description, it “uses a patent-pending
process developed by a team from the Johns Hopkins University—a world leader inhealth innovation.”Screenshot: WIREDThe problem is that doctors like Husain have no reason to believe it actually works.There is no public research explaining how the app operates, and the companyhasn’t done the kind of study that the Food and Drug Administration would require inordered to get Instant Blood Pressure cleared as a medical device.We contacted Johns Hopkins about the app, and they told us that it is not affiliatedwith the university and that they were sending the app’s maker, Aura Labs, a ceaseand-desist letter demanding that they stop using their name. Husain is worried thatsomeone might put off necessary medical treatment because of bad data obtainedfrom an app like this. Based on the App’s reviews, at least some of the users believethat they’re getting accurate blood pressure measurements from the app. “Readingthese comments is harrowing,” Husain says. “It’s like: ‘Oh my god, people areactually using this stuff and thinking it’s real.’”According to Husain, they could very well land someone in his E.R.—and maybeeven get them killed. 31272 PMP Assignment 1 6To use Instant Blood Pressure, you download the app, press your phone againstyour chest, and put your index finger against the camera, and in less than a minute, itgives you a reading. I tested the app and got a 125 over 66 reading with a heart rateof 55 beats per minute. Then, after two misfires, where the app couldn’t get a readingand told me to try again, it recorded 121 over 65, with a much higher heart rate of 74.At no time did the app itself warn me of its untested and potentially unreliable nature.In fact, if I hadn’t scrolled down to its App Store description, and clicked “more,” Iwould never have seen the company’s warning that the software is for recreationaluse only and is “not an FDA cleared medical device.”The App Store description for Instant Blood Pressure, which doesn’t clarifythat it’s not an FDA-cleared device until you click ‘more’. Screenshot: WIREDThere’s another app, called Instant Blood Pressure Pro that makes identical claims toInstant Blood Pressure. The app’s support page appears to be inactive and providesno way to contact its maker, Mini Touch. Its lone customer review begins: “You couldkill somebody.”Like other similar apps in the App Store, Instant Blood Pressure contains a disclaimerthat it is for “entertainment purposes only,” but this disclaimer is not immediately 31272 PMP Assignment 1 7visible when you look at the App in Apple’s store or Google Play. But there is a moreprominent warning on the app’s website.A third app, called Pulse Oximeter Pro, claims to be able to measure “blood oxygensaturation without peripherals.” Clicking on its support page link takes you to anArabic-language gaming site. Yet another product, Pulse Oximeter, contains asimilar, hard-to-find disclaimer, but connects to a legitimate product support site. Thatkind of buried caveat is simply not good enough, given the risks of medical harmhere, says Topol. “The disclaimers are grossly inadequate; consumers don’t read thisburied information.”Pulse Oximeter’s creator, a Norwegian family medicine doctor named DamounNassehi, told us that he plans to add new warnings in an upcoming version of theapp. And that’s a good thing. According to Nassehi, his app is not always consistentand should not be used for real medical data-gathering. “It is meant to be used byadults in recreational setting,” he says.‘Our typical approach would be to allow a firm to come into compliance voluntarilybefore taking enforcement action.’The FDA would not comment on any specific app, but in an email, JenniferRodriguez, an agency spokesperson, told us that “the FDA is focusing on a smallsubset of mobile apps that are medical devices and present the greatest risk topatients if they do not work as intended. For that subset, the FDA might take actionwere it to determine that an app does not meet relevant regulatory requirements. Butour typical approach would be to allow a firm to come into compliance voluntarilybefore taking enforcement action.”Instant Blood Pressure’s maker, Aura, company didn’t respond to multiple requestsfor comment. But Husain claims that the company’s CEO, Ryan Archdeacon,wouldn’t tell him how the app worked. “He was very straightforward with telling methat he could not explain how the app works—basically stating how it’s a patentpending process that he can’t get into at all,” Husain wrote in a blog post about theapp.Now that the FDA is investigating, it will most likely work with app makers to ensurethat they post adequate warnings on their unproven software. When products likethese are intended to measure vital signs, they need to first be cleared by the FDA 31272 PMP Assignment 1 8
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