Mortality data encompasses more than the platforms and systems that manage personal data and online accounts; it also includes medical, governmental, and private-sector data. Mortality data are used to improve health outcomes, inform public policy, and determine insurance rates, among other uses. Without intentional and well-informed design of the large-scale systems that manage mortality data, everyday people can be harmed. For example, challenges with the coordination of mortality information systems across organizations exacerbated the barriers to quick interventions in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To move towards designing intentional and more effective mortality information systems, this project maps mortality information systems and the stakeholders that drive them. This project examines intersections between policy and technology design, considering circumstances where information system improvement is both technically possible and socially desirable, but improvement is prohibited by the “red tape” of law and policy.