Health and Big Data: An Ethical Framework for Health Information Collection by Corporate Wellness Programs

7 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2016

See all articles by Ifeoma Ajunwa

Ifeoma Ajunwa

Cornell University ILR School/Law School; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Kate Crawford

AI Now Institute; Microsoft Research

Joel Ford

Inova Health System

Date Written: September 12, 2016

Abstract

This essay details the resurgence of wellness program as employed by large corporations with the aim of reducing healthcare costs. The essay narrows in on a discussion of how big data collection practices are being utilized in wellness programs and the potential negative impact on the worker in regards to privacy and employment discrimination. The essay offers an ethical framework to be adopted by wellness program vendors in order to conduct wellness programs that would achieve cost-saving goals without undue burdens on the worker. The essay also offers some innovative approaches to wellness that may well better serve the goals of healthcare cost reduction.

Keywords: Wellness, Wellness Programs, Health, Big Data, Data Mining, Health data, HIPAA, Privacy, Employment Discrimination

Suggested Citation

Ajunwa, Ifeoma and Crawford, Kate and Ford, Joel, Health and Big Data: An Ethical Framework for Health Information Collection by Corporate Wellness Programs (September 12, 2016). Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Vol. 44, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2837797

Ifeoma Ajunwa (Contact Author)

Cornell University ILR School/Law School ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kate Crawford

AI Now Institute ( email )

60 5th Ave
8th floor
New York, NY New York 10011
United States

Microsoft Research ( email )

641 Avenue of the Americas
641 Avenue of the Americas, level 7
New York, NY NY 10011
United States

Joel Ford

Inova Health System ( email )

8110 Gatehouse Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
United States

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