Title: "Do it yourself" medicine? Quality of health and healthcare through wearable sensors
Citation: SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING ETHICS vol. 24 no. 3 p. 887-904
Publisher: SPRINGER
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC95243
ISSN: 1353-3452
URI: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11948-016-9771-4
DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9771-4
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Wearable sensors are an integral part of the new telemedicine concept supporting the idea that Information Technologies will improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare. The use of sensors in diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients not only potentially changes medical practice but also one’s relationship with one’s body and mind, as well as the role and responsibilities of patients and healthcare professionals. In this paper, we focus on knowledge assessment of the online communities of Fitbit (a commercial wearable device) and the Quantified Self movement. Through their online forums, we investigate how users’ knowledge claims, shared experiences and imaginations about wearable sensors interrogate or confirm the narratives through which they are introduced to the publics. Citizen initiatives like the Quantified Self movement claim the right to ‘own’ the sensor generated data. But how these data can be used through traditional healthcare systems is an open question. More importantly, wearable sensors trigger a social function that is transformative of the current idea of care and healthcare, focused on sharing, socialising and collectively reflecting about individual problems. Whether this is aligned with current policy making about healthcare, whose central narrative is focused on efficiency and productivity, is to be seen.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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