Digital health data is being collected faster and faster and becoming increasingly diversified. Moreover, it is extensively evaluated: wearables such as the Apple Watch or the Jawbone-Wristband record and analyse the health-related behaviour of individuals; analyses of search engine queries can be used to detect and predict outbreaks and courses of epidemics; and patients exchange information regarding their experiences with wearables in user comments on social media. The issue of Big Data is currently receiving a great deal of attention in different health contexts. So far, the analysis of Big Data in health contexts is primarily shaped by the disciplinary perspectives of medicine, health sciences, health economics and computer sciences. By developing an expertise on the potentials and risks of digital health data, the Hans-Bredow-Institut, therefore, addresses the topic from a communication studies perspective and explicates its relevance for the discipline.
Project duration: June to December 2015