Personalized communication (focus on Health)

This research program focuses on researching the uses and implications of personalized information and communication for individuals, society, and information law & policy. One of the specific areas of this program is personalized health communication. Personalized, tailored, and patient-centered health services offer opportunities to improve people’s well-being. A particular area of interest will be the increasing role of Mobile Health (“m-health”). Our goal here is to understand how and why people use m-health, and what influences perceptions and use of m-health technologies. For instance, are those that are more privacy concerned also less willing to use health apps for monitoring their health? Or do these perceptions not specifically lead to the choice of not installing or even uninstalling health apps? At the same time: should health app users be concerned about the fact that increasingly more health data is becoming available through quantified self-applications? Is the law equipped to deal with new players that collect health data through such quantified self-applications? When do the welfare gains of personalized health services outweigh the risks involved?

Moreover, we aim to test the effects of personalized health communication. A central question to this aim is: how can this vast amount of quantified self-tracking data be used to ‘nudge’ the user into more healthy behavior? Can personalized health communication enhance healthy behavior? And, are some groups affected more by such personalized communication strategies than others, and if so, what determines the effectiveness? At the same time: what would be the ethical and normative implication of ‘nudging’ the user?

Personalised Communication is an interdisciplinary project by two research institutes at the University of Amsterdam (UvA): The Institute for Information Law (IVIR) and the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR).

See also:

Research team: Prof. dr. Claes de Vreese and Prof. dr. Natali Helberger
Dr. Nadine Bol (PostDoc)
Prof. Julia van Weert
Status: Ongoing since September 2015
Funding: University of Amsterdam, as part of its focus-research-program