Digital health – interdisciplinary perspectives on trends and attitudes in the Baltic Sea region


CfA (pdf)

Symposium at Lund University, Sweden, March 16-17, 2023

Arranged by the Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities at Lund University, Sweden
and the Department for the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine, Centre for Health and Society, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany

Bridging the Baltic VI

Digital health – interdisciplinary perspectives on trends and attitudes in the Baltic Sea region

We are currently experiencing one of the most extensive societal transformations in modern history. With the ongoing process of digitalization, the way people interact with each other, articulating their thoughts, communicating their opinions, and fulfilling their needs, has found a range of new channels of communication.

This development is evident not least in how health sectors worldwide incorporate digital technologies in their practices. New methods for assembling data on people’s health, new tools for processing and analyzing patients’ symptoms and case histories, and new ways of reaching out to patients are currently developed. Digital health and e-health in a broad sense, encompassing mobile health (mHealth), health information technology, wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalized medicine, have come to be regarded as a set of tools with the potential to improve our abilities to diagnose, treat and deliver healthcare. These technologies, correctly applied, promise to enhance both the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care, as well as the well-being of healthcare practitioners. In this development, the countries in the Baltic Sea region are often considered frontrunners, e.g., regarding e-prescription, electronic health records and e-consultation.

Parallel to the ongoing transformation of the health care sector, the process of digitalization has also formed new settings where illness experience is narrated. On social media platforms, patients, their relatives, and to some extent their health care providers are articulating, communicating, and debating perceptions and conceptions of health and illness, disease and disability, cure and care in a variety of genres and digital arenas.

This symposium, funded by the German Research Foundation DFG and Birgit Rausing Centre for Medical Humanities at Lund University, brings together researchers from different fields to discuss the characteristics and challenges with the ongoing digital health-development in the Baltic Sea region. What similarities and differences are there between different parts of the region? How do legislation, political agendas, publishing houses, academic institutions, digital infrastructure, medical practitioners and patient associations influence the development in different parts of the Baltic Sea region? We welcome submissions from interested scholars at all levels in their career, particularly concerning the following themes:

A.      Attitudes towards digital health in the Baltic Sea region, focusing on e.g., patient/user experience, social/political/economic/legal aspects, medical ethics, science diplomacy, digital health narratives and social media platforms.

B.      Trends in e-health, with a focus on northern Europe, particularly e.g., case studies of how “best-practice” examples in some countries have been implemented (or not), and how digitalizing initiatives in one region has affected neighboring regions, digital health in teaching, collaboration between researchers in northern Europe, the history of digital health, and visions of the future of digital health in the Baltic Sea region.

Abstracts of maximum 300 words and a short biography are sent to Nils Hansson and Jonatan Wistrand before December 15, 2022. Students and early career scholars are also encouraged to submit posters.

About us: The interdisciplinary network “Bridging the Baltic: Medicine in the Baltic Sea Region” brings together researchers who currently work on aspects of medical history and medical humanities in the Baltic Sea region to illuminate currents of ideas and areas of cooperation and conflict. With participants from all corners of the Baltic Sea area, we have so far had five symposia in Lund 2014, Düsseldorf 2019, online (due to Covid-19)
2021, Riga 2021, and Odense 2022. We have published three volumes with a selection of the papers presented at our symposia.

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