The sheer volume of digital medical data–and associated methods of analysis–is outpacing both public understanding and the ability to assess the social impact of these new healthcare practices. At the same time, human health is being positively and adversely affected by our increasing reliance on internet and information technologies that proliferate beyond the medical sphere.
Through empirical investigation, the Health and Data team seeks to understand the evolving and complex interdependence of our health and technology practices, including precision medicine, algorithmic decision-making in clinical care, bias in genome databases, ethical collection of data, healthy interactions with tech platforms and mobile devices, and the spread of health misinformation online.
While the increasing ubiquity of data and automation in health care enables novel approaches to a wide range of diseases and health concerns, Health and Data initiative projects underscore that these technologies may also exacerbate certain health disparities. Several Health and Data projects examine the extent to which new technologies can address historical disparities in data collection and access to healthcare–and, in turn, introduce new forms of inequity.