Tech Giants in Healthcare

Duration : 08/2020-08/2021
Project Board
  • Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen
  • RA Dr. Björn Schmitz-Luhn
  • Coordinator: Aileen Berghold
Funding Institution: Bertelsmann Stiftung


In addition to the traditional models and mechanisms of healthcare delivery, large technology companies from outside the industry are increasingly expanding into healthcare. These companies mostly come from industries other than the healthcare market, but are increasingly adding healthcare products and services to their portfolios. In most cases, these innovations are based on the analysis of a wide range of data, but also on the development of therapies, prevention models and care pathways. To do this, companies rely on an enormous amount of data, most of which they try to generate and collect themselves through their innovations. Because the companies are already equipped with a market power that can hardly be broken, they are ideally positioned for the large-scale collection of health-related data.
In the long term, it is conceivable that large technology companies will permanently change the existing structure of the healthcare system by offering new, complementary and alternative healthcare services.

Research Questions and Objectives

The overarching goal of this study is to obtain robust empirical evidence on the current activities of large technology companies in the health care sector, to assess their impact on the established structures and principles of the health care system, and to develop approaches for dealing with these developments.
The focus is on the ethical-normative analysis of potentials and risks of these innovations with regard to the health care system as well as to health care provision. Furthermore, the necessity of (state) regulation to avoid economic monopolies, to ensure quality, to protect the rights of those affected and to ensure justice and freedom will be analyzed.


Aileen Berghold

+49 (0) 221 -  470 89109
+49 (0) 221 -  470 89101 



ceres – Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health
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50931 Köln