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Mobile health and wellness: ethical and social challenges


12:15 Campus TU Eindhoven
On 10 and 11 February 2020, the TU/e Center for Humans and Technology organises the 'Considering Health Behavior Change' symposium. For two days, researchers and health professionals share their knowledge and experiences about healthy behaviour in relation to motivation, trust, and technology. Petra Verhoef, theme coordinator at the Rathenau Instituut, provides a workshop on the ethical and social challenges of e-health.

These days it seems to be a fairly simple task, leading a healthier life. Whether you are looking for an app, website, or online personal advice: in every possible way you can find help in making conscious 'lifestyle' choices. This is not only beneficial for you as an individual, but also for society as a whole. For example, if we all start to live healthier lives, that will be beneficial in terms of healthcare costs. Thus healthcare can become more efficient, better, and cheaper.

Technology plays an important role in the numerous possibilities in the field of personal health and well-being. Nevertheless, these new digital possibilities also cause uncertainty. What is the quality of the advice that is given? What happens to the data you share? How reliable is the information you receive?

Questions of this kind about digital health will be discussed during the two-day symposium. Attention is also paid to the way in which you can motivate people to live healthier lives. Why are we, despite all the new tools, often unable to maintain healthy behaviour for a longer time period? And how does it affect you when your behaviour and well-being are constantly monitored?

Custom digital health research

For years the Rathenau Instituut has been researching e-health and digital healthcare and the opportunities that this offers for better customized care. Our research shows that, to protect citizens, important values ​​such as autonomy and solidarity must be given more attention. Because all these new possibilities also raise new questions. Do we understand the consequences? What do we find desirable? And what are our limits?

On 10 February, Petra Verhoef will give a presentation on behalf of the institute about the ethical and social aspects that digitization of care entails.