Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Ethics in Digital Health and Technology (Sommersemester 2024)

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Robert Ranisch (Gastdozenten oder Dozenten der Uni-Potsdam) , Dr. phil. Joschka Haltaufderheide (Gastdozenten oder Dozenten der Uni-Potsdam)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 01.04.2024 - 30.04.2024
  • Prüfungszeitpunkt §9 (4) BAMA-O: 17.07.2024
  • Lehrform: Vorlesung / Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Pflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

Digital Health MA
  • Digital Health
    • HPI-DH-EC Ethics, Law and Compliance for Digital Health


Research and development of technologies in the field of digital health offers enormous potentials. It is, however, connected to a variety of ethical and societal questions. This course will allow students to acquire a foundational understanding of important ethical concepts in connection with technology and different concepts of technology in the context of healthcare.  Students will, then, explore different instances of health-related technologies to develop an overview on the most prevalent ethical issues. These includes ethical issues in Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning in healthcare, ethical questions of privacy and Big Data and ethical questions in using physical devices. Finally, the course addresses the question of professional responsibilities and research ethics in digital technologies allowing students to critically reflect on their role as future researchers, developers, designers and creators. To this end, students will be acquainted with basic methods of identifying and analyzing ethical issues in technology as well as with different ways to resolve such issues and to allow responsible creation and design of technologies (e.g. foreighting, ethics by design, embedded ethics).


Course Objectives

  1. Acquire a basic understanding of relevant ethical concepts, a basic understanding of different perspectives on technologies and a basic understanding of the healthcare system as a social context of application.
  2. Learn to recognise and consider ethical questions in relation to specific technologies and analyse them under guidance. Learn to consider the specific conditions of appropriate action in health contexts.
  3. Acquire the ability to use specific methods and tools as well as possible approaches to solving existing problems.

Learn to take an informed and critical stance with regard to ethical questions of digital health technologies. Be able to relate the knowledge gained to own professional role and attitude and to critically examine different approaches to role- and profession-specific responsibility.




  1. Group presentation in one of the sessions (50%) and 2500 word essay (50%) due by the end of semester.
  2. Full term paper of 5000 words due by the end of semester.


Course Information

Double block on specific dates on Wednesdays during the lecture period:

08.05., 9:15-11:30                     Intro Session (obligatory)

05.06., 9:15-12:30                     Concepts of Ethics, Technology and Healthcare 

12.06., 9:15-12:30                     AI and Machine Learning in Healthcare - Accountability and Transparency in Context

19.06., 9:15-12:30                     (Big) Data in Health - Fairness and Justice

26.06., 9:15-12:30                     Exploring Mobile Health and Privacy

03.07., 9:15-12:30                     Robots and Responsibilities

10.07., 9:15-12:30                     Models of Professional Responsibilities

17.07., 9:15-12:30                     Tools and Methods for Ethics