DIPHETI – Digital Phenotype – Human Embodiment or Transhuman Imagery – Project

The DIPHETI research project combines social studies of science, science and technology studies, philosophy of science, ethics and medical and biomedical research with a focus on meanings of digital transformation and digital data for humans. The project builds on and develops humanities’ and social sciences’ intersection into a specific medical research project where the combination of digitalization and digital data are key ingredients. Human phenotyping is considered to be the next great biomedical frontier, analogous to the Human Genome Project in its profound implications for medicine. The DIPHETI research project relates to the ways new forms of digital data and the digitalization of human bodies and diseases translate into our understandings of what a human is and how we can re-imagine, repair and reconstruct it. More specifically, the project will focus on the specific ways researchers understand and translate the knowledge of the human in the intersection of digital health and the totally new frontier of so called digital phenotypes. The understanding of digital phenotypes calls also for a renewed focus on human measurements. The prospects of human phenotyping call forward several pertinent questions for ethics, law, science and technology studies and the philosophy of science. These, combined with the prospects for business opportunities and biomedical enterprises widen the question to biocapital governance, power and ethics.

The project is led by Seppo Poutanen from the Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, and the research team within the University of Turku is composed of Anne Kovalainen, Heli Salminen-Mankonen and Tom Southerington.