UH Mānoa researchers get $215K for big data governance in the health sector

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Lisa M Shirota, (808) 956-7352
Communications Director, Social Sciences, Dean's Office
Posted: Aug 29, 2018

Jenifer Sunrise Winter
Jenifer Sunrise Winter
Elizabeth Davidson
Elizabeth Davidson
Victoria Fan
Victoria Fan

An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has been awarded a $215,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the emergence of organizational forms of data governance in the big data era.

The research investigates one of big data’s greatest challenges—how to harness massive amounts of information in the health care sector for social good while balancing competing claims on the data and concerns regarding risks for individual privacy and security.

“This project will address unmet needs and opportunities for more effective governance of protected health information data that will advance the research and education infrastructure related to health management, data science and information policy,” said UH Mānoa researcher and College of Social Sciences Associate Professor Jenifer Sunrise Winter. Her expertise is in information policy and big data governance, and she has advanced knowledge about privacy and big data.

Winter, together with fellow researchers Elizabeth Davidson of the Shidler College of Business and Victoria Fan of the Office of Public Health Studies, will examine how organizational forms develop around health data resources to address these challenges and opportunities, including what institutional and sociotechnical factors enable or inhibit new forms of governance, and how varied forms address the interests and values of societal and organizational stakeholders.

Davidson is an expert researcher on health information technology design, and Fan’s work in health economics and health systems has contributed to identifying the health financing transition, landscaping the health workforce in China and India.

This inquiry will be addressed through a series of embedded case studies of an emerging health data governance form, the All-Payer Claims Databases in the U.S. healthcare sector.

The findings from this project span communications, public health and information technology management, and will develop new knowledge with application for policy settings. It will also position health system leaders and technology innovators to fine-tune health data analysis with the intent of improving the health care system for the benefit of public welfare.

More about the UH Mānoa research team

Jenifer Sunrise Winter is a College of Social Sciences associate professor in the School of Communications and co-director of the Pacific Information and Communication Technology for Development Collaborative. Her expertise in information policy and big data governance has advanced knowledge about privacy and big data, including examining individuals’ perceptions about the use of their private data and how inferences gleaned from personal data can be used to discriminate against vulnerable social groups. Winter has participated in several NSF events related to privacy and cybersecurity and was one of several dozen experts nationwide invited to attend the National Science Foundation’s Broadband 2021.

Elizabeth Davidson is a Shidler College of Business professor in the Information Technology Management Department and a W. Ruel Johnson Distinguished Professor. She is an expert researcher on health information technology design, diffusion and use. Her work has explored stakeholders’ interests in technology designs for personal health data, drawing from earlier work on technology use, data stewardship and identity in scientific research. Davidson’s research on organizational health information systems will be extended to consider how the diffusion, adoption, and use of health IT applications affect how health data resources can be developed, shared, used and reused within and between organizations.

Victoria Fan is a Health Policy and Management assistant professor in the Office of Public Health Studies and chief health economist of the Hawaii All-Payer Claims Database. She is also an FXB fellow at the Francois Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, an adjunct fellow at the East-West Center, and a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. Her work in health economics and health systems has contributed to identifying the health financing transition, landscaping the health workforce in China and India, and assessing payment and incentive mechanisms. Her work using impact evaluation and economic evaluation in health have assessed the costs and benefits of health interventions and health risks, including social policy, diabetes prevention, end-of-life care, and pandemic influenza.