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PhD defense | TU Eindhoven
Posted on November 14, 2022

PhD defense: Responsibilities in a Datafied Health Environment

Chirag Arora will defend his thesis at the 6th of December at 13:30.


Atlas Building room 0.710, TU Eindhoven

Description of the thesis

Characterized by an accelerating rise in the collection and analysis of quantified data, the healthcare sector is witnessing rapid ‘’datafication’’. Health datafication is driven by technologies that enable the collection of large sets of data, such as wearable health devices, as well as computational technologies, including machine learning techniques, that can process such big data. Proponents of the health datafication phenomenon have emphasized how it can empower citizens by allowing them to take control of their health as well as monitor aspects of their health that would have previously been impossible to track unaided. Critics, however, point out that health datafication can also diminish our understanding of individual health, for example, by privileging narrowly construed quantified ways of knowing over rich understandings of what healthy behavior is. Another worry is that health datafication shifts the responsibility of healthcare from institutional actors such as medical professionals and policymakers to individual users. This shift in responsibility, and focus on individual responsibility for health, is particularly worrying considering the valuable labor of a multitude of actors, including technologists and designers, required to reap the benefits of health datafication. This work explores and explicates the role these various sets of actors play in conjunction with each other, and in particular the moral, legal, social, and epistemic responsibilities such actors have in facilitating successful health inquiry within the datafied health paradigm. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of these varied sets of actors is crucial in designing a datafied health system that combines expertise beneficially and avoids potential pitfalls.

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