From 8 to 9 October 2019, BCSSS Vice President Felix Tretter continued his efforts to bring together scientists, medical professionals and big data experts as part of the BCSSS Research Groups ‘Human Digitalization’ as well as ‘Systems Medicine and Health Care Systems’.

Since fall 2018, the group had been examining several unintended side effects of digitalization in a series of expert workshops and symposia. The aim of the previous workshops (WS I-III) was to examine the epistemic value of individual features of the digitization of our society, especially with regard to Big Data as processing technology, as well as health-related digital technologies (DHT). The goal of the workshop series is to make cyber-systemic perspectives of living systems explicit.

With this background and aim, the group discussed experiences with attempts to introduce the Austrian electronic health card (ELGA) in physicians’ practices, informed by the presentation of ELGA project and innovation manager Helene Prenner and Hamid Schirasi-Fard (Viennese Chamber of Physicians). Christian Thielscher (University Essen) reported on current problems with such electronic health initiatives in Germany. Geraldine Fitzpatrick (Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology, TU Vienna) introduced some technical considerations from the viewpoint of informatics.

Another important contribution to a vivid discussion was made by Barbara Piso and Alexander Degelsegger-Marquiz (GOEG, Vienna), who presented their expertise on assessments-scales. Rania Wazir (Data4Good, Vienna) complemented their insights about issues with assessment. An additional Big Data perspective was provided by Thomas Schmaus (University Alfter). Finally, the use of social robots was discussed with an input from Isabell Schwaninger (Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology, TU Vienna.

The documentation on previous workshops can be found here:

Workshop I: Big Data – Epistemological Requests of Systems Science

Workshop II: The “Truth” about health and disease by Big Data

Workshop III: Evaluating Health-Related ICT (hICT)

Workshop IV: Evaluation scales for Digital Health Technology Assessment (DHTA)