29.06.14 - 02.07.14, Seminar 14272

Exploring Interdisciplinary Grand Challenges in ICT Design to Support Proactive Health and Wellbeing

Diese Seminarbeschreibung wurde vor dem Seminar auf unseren Webseiten veröffentlicht und bei der Einladung zum Seminar verwendet.


Can Internet-enabled information and communication technology (ICT) help improve our wellbeing and quality of life?

While the world increasingly becomes a digital knowledge economy, we still carry out our digital practices in-bodied in physical brains & bodies, brains and bodies that seem to be getting globally less well. Quality of life measures, for instance, which are linked to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), suggest that although Internet connectivity affords greater access to information resources and social infrastructures, it does not correlate with better physical and mental health, nor with better wellbeing. Even after accounting for improved diagnosis and detection, statistics indicate health problems are on the rise rather than diminishing even in the most resourced of countries. For example, the costs, from treatment to sick leave, associated just with overweight and obesity reach billions annually in each of the top 22 industrialized nations alone. In a recent survey we carried out with over 1100 respondents in health-oriented social networks, participants reported an average BMI that was lower than national averages but still well over 25 (overweight), showing an increased disease risk.

Put baldly, the Internet is not helping the Internet-connected to better physical nor better mental health.

There have been considerable successes in ICT in eHealth, such as deploying mobile devices to address drug adherence, extend human expert contact, and encourage engagement in proactive healthcare activities. From an infrastructure perspective, better supply-chain management has helped keep health support costs down.

However, little work is being done on understanding the broader implications of these disparate efforts. There are also open questions about these initiatives that, to date, have been centered on top of the financial pyramid, and can be scaled to an inclusive and global agenda. Questions about specific versus general interventions and about local versus global solutions need to be posed.

We are inviting you to help shape grand challenges for the design of ICT to support wellbeing, from policy to implementation to measures of success.

We believe that even greater benefits for improved Quality of Life (QoL) can be realized by moving upstream from medical intervention and healthcare for those already diagnosed as "ill" to the design of Proactive Health and Wellbeing. While not focused on medical health issues specifically, proactive strategies for wellbeing are key in proactive healthcare. Reducing the numbers of people who become ill in the first place, particularly with respect to preventable lifestyle conditions such as obesity and heart disease, will reduce costs of healthcare support. Improving lifestyle performance will have direct international impact, at economic, social and personal levels.

The Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop will focus on Designing a Shared Vision of and Action Plan for Grand Challenges for Wellbeing Design. A goal in this workshop is to develop the ICT research agenda that will enable researchers, designers and industry professionals to realize the promise of these approaches and so achieve impact at meaningful scale. The overall objective for the workshop is to lay the foundations for an international, interdisciplinary collaborative activity focused on ICT and Proactive Health and Wellbeing.