Digital Public Health
One focal point of our work in the high-profile area of Health Sciences in the years that lie ahead will be the potential, limitations and risks of digitalization in public health. Our key objective thereby is to investigate and improve the benefits and efficacy of health-related interventions, taking the participation and self-determination of the public and the reduction of health and social inequities into consideration.
We shall also be focusing on the further development of interdisciplinary cooperation with both communications and media sciences and the engineering sciences.
Researchers in this high-profile area explore the extent to which existing concepts and models, such as the Dahlgren-Whitehead rainbow model for example, have to be expanded and adapted to accommodate the particular features and requirements of digital technologies. In doing so we play a part in creating an adjusted, dynamic reference framework in the broadest sense for digital public health as the guiding premise for research.
New digital health technologies are surging onto the market, but scientific evaluations – particularly in the area of prevention – are often lacking or very superficial. Traditional, albeit slow evaluation research approaches have to be reconsidered and further developed in order to meet the requirements of evidence-based activities in public health and medicine, also with regard to new digital technologies.
Immense technological advancements continue apace – but are they geared towards the wishes and needs of users? The high-profile area of Health Sciences is carrying out research on how to design participatory processes, and what challenges lie in the way of close cooperation between users, public health experts and technological developers.
One issue of major significance in the high-profile area of Health Sciences is the question of equity in health and healthcare provision. The widespread diffusion of digital technologies harbours the danger of a growing digital divide, which can affect accessibility to the internet or mobile technologies, but also digital health literacy and skills needed for using these technologies and their content. Health science researchers explore various aspects of the digital gap and ways in which it can be closed.