Synergies, benefits and trade-offs of eHealth and surveillance



Event Date: 

04/21/15 to 04/24/15

Location name: 

Tilburg, Netherlands


Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

Conference Theme: The notion that people are ‘under observation’ has multiple connotations. Bringing together two hitherto unrelated streams of scholarship interested in observation —eHealth and surveillance studies— this conference aims to inspire cross-fertilisation and bring new insights into the legal, ethical and social meanings of being ‘under observation’.

Care for an aging population and for patients with chronic conditions is expensive. Staying healthy is actively encouraged by policy and practice. Use of eHealth solutions to this end is especially encouraged, as these applications are considered to be ‘lean’, cheap and capable of offering access to healthcare and lifestyle management anywhere, any time. Recent developments in mobile eHealth have led to wearable sensors that gather health data in real time and help take charge of our wellbeing, while Big Data Analytics and Predictive Analytics promise better understanding of disease, prevention and treatment.

But these technologies are not without their caveats. Most notably, they create new opportunities for surveilling and steering health-related behaviours. Recent scholarship on the relationship between the development of new technologies and trends in surveillance points to the multi-directional and mutual nature of the latter. In the field of health, this means that not only are patients watched by technologies, physicians, etc. but also that they are increasingly watching.

These new trends are in line with a general tendency to seek solutions to societal problems – crime, resource allocation, child welfare – in data aggregation, monitoring, profiling and behaviour tracking.
We therefore invite legal, ethical, and social scholars and practitioners, philosophers of technology and engineers, as well as persons working in the areas of health (including eHealth), assisted living, sensor technology, surveillance studies, data protection, data security and privacy to join us in exploring these developments during a two-day conference. We will explore and discuss the synergies, benefits and trade-offs of developments in eHealth and related changes in surveillance structures and practices.

Important dates:
Conference panels track
26 October 2014 – full papers due
17 November 2014 – peer review and communication to the authors
7 December 2014 – publication-ready papers due
22-23 April 2015 - conference
Spring 2015 – papers published in an edited volume by Springer

The ‘paper roast’ track
11 January 2015 – extended abstracts due
end of January – communication to the authors
22 March 2015 – full papers due
21 – 24 April 2015 – the ‘paper roast’ session the day before or the day after the conference
20 September 2015 – revised papers due
October - November 2015 – notification of acceptance of final paper)
Beginning of 2016 – publication in a special issue of Law, Innovation, and Technology

The ‘paper roast’ abstracts and all papers must be submitted in electronic form through the web.