At Koa Health we believe that being trusted and trustworthy is critical to our mission to help people improve their health. To deliver this we have an ethics strategy which you can find on our website, and in which you will see that we are committed to undertaking and publishing an external, annual audit of progress against our ethics strategy.
But before we became Koa, we were Alpha Health (more on that in our spin-out post), and we underwent an external ethics audit, carried out by Eticas Research and Consulting (Eticas R&C).
The focus of the audit is on a prototype we developed when we were Alpha Health – an app called REM!X. This app no longer exists as its purpose was to test various hypotheses relating to helping people improve their health and happiness, and to help us build our capabilities. Indeed, part of that capability building was itself to test how we could implement our ethics strategy, and consequently evolve and improve it. In this regard, the audit is of huge importance to Koa Health.
The audit largely occurred over the course of 2019 (while we were still Alpha Health). It has taken us some time to publish it because it involved multiple analyses, and because we changed some elements of REM!X as the audit progressed, presenting somewhat of a moving target for the auditors. Beyond that, we think it’s also fair to say that the concept of an ethics audit remains fairly novel in the world of digital technology. Therefore, we learned a lot about what information is relevant and how to structure the analysis as we have progressed.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the team at Eticas R&C, and their colleagues at Pompeu Fabra University, for all of their hard work, their unflinching ability to call us out when we weren’t meeting our aspirations, and their patience with our agile development model.
Needless to say, while this report presents the view of the auditors, Koa Health wholeheartedly welcomes this report and its conclusions. We aim to do even better in our next audit, later this year.
And finally, if you have thoughts or questions about ethics and how they relate to digital technology, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.