The promises and premises of personalized e-health: A call for more theory-based research

Event Date: 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 - 12:00pm

Event Location: 

  • 1310 SSMS (CITS Conference Room)

Personalized e-health plays a central role in current and future policy and health care strategies. It is claimed that personalized e-health enables delivering more individualized health care and facilitates socio-economic inclusion and equality through greater access to health services. Despite its widely assumed potential, theoretical research in the area of personalized e-health is arguably still in its infancy with many fruitful areas as of yet unexplored. The current paradigm has been predominantly focusing on what e-health can offer, rather than examining how and under which conditions e-health can be effective. In this talk, I will highlight the need for a novel theory-based approach to better understand the use and impact of personalized e-health. I will draw upon privacy calculus theory and digital divide literature to propose a new model to explain how and under what conditions people balance personalization benefits and privacy costs in their decision to use personalized e-health. To substantiate my ideas, I will present some findings from my current projects as well as future research venues.

Nadine Bol is a postdoctoral researcher at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University of Amsterdam. She is part of the university’s Research Priority Area ‘Personalized Communication,’ an interdisciplinary collaboration between the departments of Communication Science and Information Law. Her research focuses on the social and ethical implications of digital technologies, particularly in the field of health communication. More specifically, she researches questions related to why, how, and under which conditions people use digital technologies for health-related purposes, as well as the impact of technology on cognitive, social, and behavioral outcomes. Her work has been published in prominent, peer-reviewed journals, such as Human Communication Research, Computers in Human Behavior, Journal of Health Communication, and The Information Society. Nadine is currently co-editing a special issue on “Tailored Health Communications: Opportunities and Challenges in the Digital Era” for the journal Digital Health.