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Good data for health literacy and digital inclusion – conference paper at DATA POWER

DATA POWER header image showing map of the world and connectionsThe first academic conference paper from the research project ART/DATA/HEALTH: data as creative material for health and wellbeing (UKRI/AHRC) will be presented at the two-day international conference DATA POWER: global in/securities, September 12&13, 2019, in Bremen, Germany. The conference is organized by the ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research, University of Bremen in cooperation with the Universities of Carleton (Canada) and Sheffield (UK).

The project paper that will be presented at the Good Data stream (programme to be announced soon):

Good data for health literacy and digital inclusion 


The adoption of personalised digital health environments (e.g. self-management mobile apps), big data (e.g. surveillance of infectious outbreaks) and AI algorithms that inform decisions about social and health care (e.g. IBM Watson Health for social care management) all raise important issues about data and privacy today. Meanwhile, health promotion and communication has also moved to a digitised era, with health organisations using texts and social media in order to educate about health risks and prevention (Lupton 2015). Public health communication models however often follow a linear model of communication, in which public health education campaigns and media coverage of health issues lead to behavioural change.

This paper reports on work in progress of a project that offers a systematic approach to how public health communication can be enriched by community-based participatory forms to account for ethical, social, political and cultural issues in the era of big data and personalised medicine.

First it reviews critically a) existing innovative communication tools, technologies and strategies used in health communication and marketing, and b) art-based participatory projects on health and wellbeing, and the theoretical literature relating to health promotion and communication, with focus on policy issues and practice that relate to health data and digital health technologies. Drawing from this review, the paper develops a theoretical framework that identifies the ethical, social, cultural and political issues of a data-driven, art-centric strategy in health communication.



Lupton, D., 2014. Health promotion in the digital era: a critical commentary. Health promotion international, 30(1), pp.174-183.

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