Digital Life

Digitization in all areas of life

Digital life

Digitization has been taking hold in companies and in the lives of individuals since the 1980s. Starting with costly IT infrastructures, this trend is now developing at an ever faster pace and digitization has now entered many areas of our lives. Today, technological innovations are no longer available only to companies, but are also openly accessible to private individuals, as the examples of wearables, smart home or connected cars show. This new, digital life holds many challenges, but also innovations and solutions. This is why we are dealing with the topic of digital life, the digitalization of human life in all areas of life. We are investigating the use of information systems in private everyday life, at work and in the health sector, as well as the effects of the use of technology on people. In order to make future information systems better, we are also concerned with the design and development of information systems that are aware of these effects and counteract them.

The issues associated with digital life are manifold and must be considered holistically. To answer the research questions that arise, we use both design and behavioral research methods (e.g. development of software prototypes, case studies, experiments, surveys). Through our strong networking with companies and other research institutes, we conduct applied research that looks at interesting aspects from different perspectives and creates sustainable added value for companies and individuals.

Digital stress: How does digital stress arise, how can it be recognized and what is a healthy use of digital technologies?
Increase benefits: How can the general benefit of information systems and information for individuals be increased?
Positive influence: What are the potentials for positive influence on human behavior through information systems and how can digital technologies be more closely aligned to people and their needs?
Potentials: What potentials does digitization offer for personal health or the health of employees, what potentials for the health care system itself and how can these potentials be tapped sustainably?
Change: How does digitization change the workplace of today, what should the digital workplace of the future look like and what should be considered when redesigning workplaces?

We try to answer these and other questions together with our cooperation network consisting of various research partners from the fields of computer science, medicine, health economics, law, cultural and communication sciences as well as innovative companies and renowned research institutes, with whom we are networked, for example, via the ‘Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Gesundheitsforschung’ and the thematic platforms ‘Digitale Gesundheit/Medizin’, ‘Arbeitswelt 4.0’ and consumer issues of the center ‘Digitalisierung.Bayern’.

Digital Health

Under keywords such as telemedicine, electronic patient files, big data and networking of players, technological progress allows new forms of care, improved communication and increased digitization of the health care system. Digital Health encompasses all applications and measures that use the possibilities of modern information and communication technologies. These support, for example, the treatment and care of patients or the prevention of diseases. Digital Health puts the patient at the centre of attention. The aim is to avoid overuse, underuse and misuse, achieve cost efficiency and create transparency. Digital health management answers the question of how health-conscious behavior can be further promoted, both at the consumer level and from a business perspective, in order to reduce sick leave. Employers must apply the Occupational Health and Safety Act and also introduce solutions for employees. Data Analytics functions here as a methodological building block that makes it possible to derive concrete and action-oriented recommendations from the broad mass of available data. Ultimately, the networking of actors through digital processes and systems makes it possible to minimise coordination, integration and networking problems and contributes to increasing quality and efficiency.

The aim of this research area is to improve the health care system through the use of digital technologies. To this end, we investigate how data analyses can improve diagnostics on the one hand and processes on the other. In addition, we address the concerns and reservations of patients about telemedicine and other digital health services.

Further detailed information on our e-health topics can also be found in our brochure.

Digital Work

Information systems are revolutionizing the way people work together in the digital world. However, employers need to look closely at the extent to which technologies and information systems in the workplace actually support, influence or perhaps even burden the company’s employees. Does home office or the increasing, almost constant accessibility of employees have an impact on productivity and well-being? Does other communication and collaboration systems change the way people work together in the workplace? When new information systems are introduced, the question regularly arises as to their benefits and whether these outweigh the risks.

Therefore, in this research area we are concerned with acceptance models and the analysis of positive and negative effects of new information systems, especially at the workplace. In this context, we investigate and support the sensible introduction of productivity-enhancing solutions (e.g. in knowledge management or enterprise social networks) in companies.

Digital Stress

Digital technologies hold both opportunities and risks for our health. The use of digital technologies and media can lead to negative stress (distress), burn-out, depression and other health impairments and have a lasting effect on the work-life balance. In contrast, stress can also have a positive, stimulating effect (eustress), which should be encouraged, especially, but not only, in the work environment. Technology design is well advanced so that digital technologies and media can preserve and promote the health of their human users thanks to increasing artificial intelligence, adaptivity and interactivity.

The aim of this research area is to investigate the distribution, the influencing factors and the health consequences of digital stress (technostress) caused by the increasing and more intensive use of digital technologies and media. In particular, it is important to find out how digital eustress can be promoted and how digital distress can be prevented or mitigated.

Human-centered IS

Smartphones, tablets or speech assistants are just a few examples of the fact that digital technologies and the associated information systems have long since become an integral part of our everyday lives. However, the individual handling of the respective technologies and the information presented is very different and individual. The reasons for this range from concerns about the protection of privacy to convenience and the excessive demands of constantly new devices. In addition, the range of hardware and software offers numerous application possibilities that need to be investigated and designed.

In the research area Human-centered IS, we are concerned on the one hand with analysing the influence of information on human behaviour in order to better understand how information systems and their content affect humans. On the other hand, these findings can be used to develop systems that focus on the human being. Possible application scenarios are, for example, assistance systems that can evaluate the affective state of the user and adapt their functionality accordingly. General design principles gained in the development of human-centric information systems can also be used in other domains to promote the acceptance and use of information systems.

Wearable, Affective & Positive Computing

Nowadays, a home network no longer just connects one computer to the Internet. Especially in the private environment, the number of “smart” devices, which are often connected to each other, is rapidly increasing. Thus, in addition to classic devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks, new technologies such as smart front doors, heating or loudspeakers are becoming increasingly available. All these applications, such as wearables, smart home and the connected car, are equipped with extensive sensor technology. These sensors create a comprehensive digital image of our lives (e.g. daily activity, movement patterns or bodily functions) as well as new possibilities for making optimum use of the interaction between man and machine. This is because a wide variety of interactions can be observed between a person’s handling of these technologies and various aspects of digital life, such as stress, fatigue, but also improvements in performance and well-being.

In this field of research, our goal is to use sensor data of e.g. wearables to study human behavior and to improve human-machine interaction. A special role is played by the use of gamification elements, as this has a significant influence on the handling of information systems.


Our activities

The Research Center FIM deals with relevant real-world problems both in publicly funded research projects and in applied research projects with partners in industry. Together with our partners, we develop unique and novel solutions based on our insights into the current state of research, our practical experience and the interdisciplinary and enthusiastic nature of our team. Selected projects are:

  • ForDigitHealth (2019 2023):
    Research association of eleven research groups at five Bavarian universities (funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Research and Arts)
    Objective: Research into the healthy use of digital technologies and media
  • Hospital 4.0 (2017 – 2020):
    (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF))
    Project’s objective: 
    Further development and exemplary implementation of innovative logistics systems in hospitals through the use of digital technologies
  • PräDiTec (2017 – 2020):
    Prevention for safe and healthy working with digital technologies (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF))
    Project’s objective: Analysis of the changed stress profile caused by the advancing digitalization and development of specific prevention measures.
  • Collective Intelligence (2017 – 2019):
    Influence of information and communication technologies on the collective intelligence of human groups (funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG))
    Project’s objective: Analysis of the existence and structure of collective intelligence in ICT-supported group work
  • INDIGeR (2015 – 2019):
    Innovative networks for services and health in tomorrow’s regions! (funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF))
    Project’s objective: Research into the conditions of successful network operation and development of design options for structures, processes and technologies for the establishment of service networks, especially in the health sector.
  • Hilti (2013):
    Design and implementation of measures to increase the acceptance of modern communication and collaboration technologies.
  • Hilti (2012):
    Design of the development process for mobile applications and implementation of its IT support and industrialization of social collaboration services.


The following studies, whitepapers and books were developed on the basis of research work and in cooperation with partners in industry:

Healthy digital working?!

Scientific publications

In this area of expertise, we have published the following research papers in academic journals and at international conferences:

How Do Convenience and Unobtrusiveness Influence Urinary Incontinence Patients? : An Adoption Model of Wearables in Chronic Disease Management
in: Proceedings of the Workshop on Implementation of Digital Health Solutions 2020 (WImDHS 2020), Dresden, 2020
Burkard, Michael
Lockl, Jannik
Zürl, Tristan
Privacy on the road? : Evaluating German consumers’ intention to use connected cars
in: International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2020
Buck, Christoph
Reith, Riccardo
Die Digitalisierung der Wissensarbeit : Handlungsempfehlungen aus der Wirtschaftsinformatik-Forschung
in: HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 2016
Köffer, Sebastian
Urbach, Nils
Der Wissensarbeitsplatz der Zukunft : Trends, Herausforderungen und Implikationen für das strategische IT-Management
in: HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 2016
Urbach, Nils
Ahlemann, Frederik
Corporate Adoption of Social Computing : A Process-Based Analysis
in: Journal of Information Technology Case and Application Research, 2012
Räth, Philip
Urbach, Nils
Smolnik, Stefan
Butler, Brian S.
Evaluating Mobile Business Applications in Service and Maintenance Processes : Results of a Quantitative-empirical Study
presented at: 19th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Helsinki, Finland, 2011
Legner, Christine
Nolte, Christoph
Urbach, Nils
An Empirical Investigation of Employee Portal Success
in: The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 2010
Urbach, Nils
Smolnik, Stefan
Riempp, Gerold
Enabling Usage Control through Reputation Objects : A Discussion on e-Commerce and the Internet of Services Environments
in: Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 2010
Alnemr, Rehab
König, Stefan
Eymann, Torsten
Meinel, Christoph

In addition to its project activities, the Research Center FIM is committed to promoting the exchange of knowledge with colleagues from research and practice. Selected activities are:

  • 15th International Conference on Information Systems (WI), Potsdam, 2020: Track „Digital Health & Well-Being“
  • European Conference on Data Analysis (ECDA), Bayreuth, 2019: Member of the programme committee
  • 16th International Conference on Information Systems (WI), Siegen, 2019 : Tracks „Human Computer Interaction“ and „eHealth and Ageing Society“
  • 26th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Portsmouth, UK, 2018: Track „Social Media in Business and Society“ and Workshop „User Assistance in Interactive Intelligent Systems”
  • Multi-Conference on Information Systems (MKWI), Lüneburg, 2018: Sub-conferences „CSCW & Social Computing“ and „E-Health – Understanding and Designing the Digital Future of Health“
  • 18th Group Decision and Negotiation Conference (GDN), Nanjing, China, 2018: Member of the programme committee
  • 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, 2017: Tracks „Service Innovation, Engineering and Management “ and „Social Media in Business and Society”
  • Multi-Conference on Information Systems (MKWI), Ilmenau, 2016: Sub-conference „CSCW & Social Computing“
  • 23rd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Münster, 2015: Track „Service Innovation, Engineering, and Management“
  • 12th International Conference on Information Systems (WI), Oldenburg, 2015: Track „Services and Hybrid Value Creation in the Digital Society“
  • Multi-Conference on Information Systems (MKWI), Paderborn, 2014: Track „Prescriptive Analytics in IS“
  • Multi-Conference on Information Systems (MKWI), Paderborn, 2014: Track „CSCW und Social Computing“
  • Multi-Conference on Information Systems (MKWI), Paderborn, 2014: Track „Adoption, Use and Success of Artifacts in IS“

University of Augsburg

  • Digital Life (Seminar, Bachelor)
  • Digital Life (Seminar, Master)
  • Bachelor & Master Thesis

Further information can be found under Education in Augsburg.

University of Bayreuth

  • Behavioural Economics and Information Systems (Lecture, Master)
  • Business and Information Systems Engineering (Seminar, Master)
  • Bachelor & Master Thesis

Further information can be found here.

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Henner Gimpel

Professorship for Industrial Engineering and Management

Prof. Dr. Torsten Eymann

Chair of Business Administration VII - Information Systems

Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach

Professorship for Business Informatics and Strategic IT Management

Dr . Christoph