Health, self-management and empowerment: mHealth technologies from a public health perspective
Mobile health (mHealth) technologies are a rapidly developing field. The incorporation of mHealth technologies into the daily lives of ‘health consumers’ is increasingly being promoted as an avenue to strengthening patient autonomy and improving population health outcomes. Advocates for mHealth argue that these technologies facilitate better-informed health choices and provide access to healthcare to a wider cohort of individuals at lower costs. In their view, health professionals and caregivers are able to diagnose and monitor individuals without face-to-face visits, while individuals can self-manage, which enhances preventative to post-operative care. However, the emphasis on self-management – implicit in mHealth – raises ethical concerns. Some have argued that the individualisation of health outcomes is troubling as it fails to account for broader socio-economic and political factors, which shape individual, public and global health. Hence, the shift towards self-responsibility for health might increase inequities and undermine social justice in health. Based on an interrogation of the possibilities, benefits, challenges and risks associated with mHealth, I investigate whether and under which circumstances mHealth can produce good public health outcomes and empower users.
23 May 2019, 17:30 (Thursday, 4th week, Trinity 2019)
St Cross College, St Giles OX1 3LZ
Dr Tereza Hendl (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
Dr Stephen Clarke (University of Oxford)
New St Cross Special Ethics Seminar Series