This paper explores ethical and legal implications arising from the intertwinement of cloud services, healthcare and robotics. It closes an existing gap in the literature by highlighting the distinctive ethical and legal concerns associated with the inter-dependence of the cyber- and the physical aspects of healthcare cloud robotics. The identified core concerns include uncertainties with regard to data protection requirements; distributed responsibilities for unintended harm; achievement of transparency and consent for cloud robot services especially for vulnerable robot users; secondary uses of cloud data derived from robot activities; data security; and wider social issues. The paper aims to raise awareness and stimulate reflection of the legal and ethical impacts on different stakeholders arising from the use of cloud services in healthcare robotics. We show that due to the complexity of these concerns the design and implementation of such robots in healthcare requires an interdisciplinary development and impact assessment process. In light of legal requirements and ethical responsibilities towards end-users and other stakeholders, we draw practical considerations for engineers developing cloud services for robots in healthcare.
Cloud services for robotic nurses? Assessing legal and ethical issues in the use of cloud services for healthcare robots