Big Data, Algorithms and Health Data

74 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2019

See all articles by Julia M. Puaschunder

Julia M. Puaschunder

Harvard University; New School for Social Research; Columbia University; Princeton University; George Washington University Center for International Business Education and Research; The New School - Bernard Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (CEPA)

Date Written: October 22, 2019


The most recent decade featured a data revolution in the healthcare sector in screening, monitoring and coordination of aid. Big data analytics have revolutionarized the medical profession. The health sector relys on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics as never before. The opportunities of unprecedented access to healthcare, rational precision and human resemblance but also targeted aid in decentralized aid grids are obvious innovations that will lead to most sophisticated neutral healthcare in the future. Yet big data driven medical care also bears risks of privacy infringements and ethical concerns of social stratification and discrimination. Today’s genetic human screening, constant big data information amalgamation as well as social credit scores pegged to access to healthcare also create the most pressing legal and ethical challenges of our time.

The call for developing a legal, policy and ethical framework for using AI, big data, robotics and algorithms in healthcare has therefore reached unprecedented momentum. Problematic appear compatibility glitches in the AI-human interaction as well as a natural AI preponderance outperforming humans. Only if the benefits of AI are reaped in a master-slave-like legal frame, the risks associated with these novel superior technologies can be curbed. Liability control but also big data privacy protection appear important to secure the rights of vulnerable patient populations. Big data mapping and social credit scoring must be met with clear anti-discrimination and anti-social stratification ethics. Lastly, the value of genuine human care must be stressed and precious humanness in the artifical age conserved alongside coupling the benefits of AI, robotics and big data with global common goals of sustainability and inclusive growth.

The report aims at helping a broad spectrum of stakeholders understand the impact of AI, big data, algorithms and health data based on information about key opportunities and risks but also future market challenges and policy developments for orchestrating the concerted pursuit of improving healthcare excellence. Stateshuman and diplomates are invited to consider three trends in the wake of the AI (r)evolution:

Artificial Intelligence recently gained citizenship in robots becoming citizens: With attributing quasi-human rights to AI, ethical questions arise of a stratified citizenship. Robots and algorithms may only be citizens for their protection and upholding social norms towards human-like creatures that should be considered slave-like for economic and liability purposes without gaining civil privileges such as voting, property rights and holding public offices.

Big data and computational power imply unprecedented opportunities for: crowd understanding, trends prediction and healthcare control. Risks include data breaches, privacy infringements, stigmatization and discrimination. Big data protection should be enacted through technological advancement, self-determined privacy attention fostered by e-education as well as discrimination alleviation by only releasing targeted information and regulated individual data mining capacities.

The European Union should consider establishing a fifth trade freedom of data by law and economic incentives: in order to bundle AI and big data gains large scale. Europe holds the unique potential of offering data supremacy in state-controlled universal healthcare big data wealth that is less fractionate than the US health landscape and more Western-focused than Asian healthcare. Europe could therefore lead the world on big data derived healthcare insights but should also step up to imbuing humane societal imperatives on these most cutting-edge innovations of our time.

Keywords: 5th European Union universal freedom of data, AI, Artificial Intelligence, Decentralized grids, Health data, Healthcare, Robotics, Telemedicine

Suggested Citation

Puaschunder, Julia M., Big Data, Algorithms and Health Data (October 22, 2019). Available at SSRN:

Julia M. Puaschunder (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

24 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

New School for Social Research ( email )

6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

George Washington University Center for International Business Education and Research ( email )

2023 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

The New School - Bernard Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (CEPA) ( email )

80 Fifth Ave.
5th Floor
New York, NY 10027
United States

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