The futures of eHealth. Social, ethical and legal challenges.
Bächle, T. C. & Wernick, A. (eds.)
Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society
Edited works and special issues
Looking into the futures of eHealth? Diagnoses made by machine learning algorithms, medical consultations via video call, mobile health apps, fitness trackers, smartwatches and sensors built into our clothes or even our bodies: This publication strives to take a look at potential, likely, desired, anticipated or feared futures of digital health technologies and practices. Analysing the opportunities and risks associated with them is highly complex and involves both social and cultural as well as legal questions that in many instances are highly interwoven with each other. The social and cultural challenges include the tendencies towards a seemingly universal datafication, the invasion and loss of privacy and the valorisation of data as well as questions around surveillance and control, a more (de-)personalised healthcare and patient autonomy. The central legal challenge surrounding eHealth is uncertainty, especially in cross-border contexts, often accompanied by the fact that existing legal frameworks may not fit seamlessly with novel technologies or existing laws may be silent with respect to eHealth technologies. In this edited volume, researchers from various countries and disciplines discuss these issues and provide insights into the uses and perceptions of eHealth applications, the contexts of innovative technologies and offer comparative analyses of international legal frameworks.