Health on the move: why we should care about mobile health

 ''Health on the move: why we should care about mobile health'' By Dr. Federica Lucivero, King's College London. June 5th 2017 | 14:30-16:00


Mobile health (mHealth) is under the spotlight in many institutional, commercial and medical contexts that focus on the future of health. Mobile platforms include wearable devices as well as apps that track fitness, offer wellness programmes or provide tools to manage chronic conditions. According to industry and policy makers, these systems offer efficient and cost-effective solutions for disease prevention and self-management of chronically ill individuals in Western healthcare systems. In parallel with policy makers and technology developers’ expectations about mHealth, discussions on benefits and drawbacks spread in the media and have recently been addressed in academic literature. Such literature has dealt with issues of protection of sensitive data, potential harms for patients, and medicalisation. In this presentation, I introduce mHealth applications and explain why they need to be assessed both legally and ethically. At the same, I argue that an assessment of mHealth needs a grounded approach that explores the diversity and specificity of these objects.


Dr. Lucivero is currently employed as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Global Health and Social Medicine department at King’s College London, where she teaches and conducts research on the ethical social and political aspects of technological innovation in the biomedical field. She has written on a number of biotechnologies (brain-computer interfaces, molecular diagnostics, robots and e-healthcare) and her expertise spans across different areas and disciplines: ethics and social studies of science and technology, governance of innovation, philosophy of science and technology, and empirical bioethics. In her research, she combines theoretical and methodological questions with empirical investigation. In the context of her project Health on the Move, investigates the ethical challenges of digital technologies in healthcare, specifically looking at mobile apps and personal health records. She has served as KCL representative in the Working Group on mHealth guidelines at the European Commission and cofounded the Data and IT in Health and Medicine Lab and the Network Digital Health @King’s. As of July 2017, she will take the position of Senior Research Fellow in Data and Ethics at the Ethox Centre (University of Oxford) where she will collaborate with researchers at the newly founded Big Data Institute.


Twitter: @fedelucivero