Virtual Consent Assistant for Informed and Data Sovereign Patient Consent


In the project "ViCon - Virtual Consent Assistant", Fraunhofer ISST is researching new human-technology dialogs. In this context, a virtual Consent Assistant is to support informed consents for the processing of patient-related data. Often, the informedness of patients is simply assumed. Whether this is actually the case, however, is usually an open question. The aim of the project is to enable citizens to deal with these consents in a self-determined manner.

The challenge

The effects of digitization are being felt more and more in the healthcare sector as well. Data is playing an increasingly important role in the provision of health-related services. However, the processing of such data requires the consent of patients. Even now, for example, they provide an average of between eight and ten signatures when admitted to a hospital. This poses the risk of routinization of consent decisions, as patients skip text passages due to the high volume of information and are thus no longer fully informed.


Our contribution

Within the framework of ViCon, media didacticians, ethicists, legal scholars, economists and technologists will create a system that records the level of trust and informedness, prepares and displays content for educational purposes and offers the option of consent. In this regard, close interaction with the activities of the Medical Informatics Initiative will be sought. Through an increased perceived freedom of action and final decision, the trust in the use of data is to be increased.



The aim of the ViCon project is to enable citizens to deal with consent to the processing of personal data in a self-determined manner in the spirit of digital and data literacy and digital ethics. The leading research question of the project is which methods and mechanisms ensure informed consent and create trust by increasing the perceived ability to act and freedom of choice.



  • Fraunhofer IMW
  • Universität zu Köln
  • FernUniversität in Hagen
  • Kairos GmbH


  • Sponsor: Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF
  • Funding code: 16SV8500
  • Duration: 05/2020-04/2023