Critical studies of digital health


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Presentation providing an overview of digital health and outlining a research agenda for a critical approach.

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Critical studies of digital health

  1. 1. CRITICAL STUDIES OF DIGITAL HEALTH: ARESEARCH AGENDA Deborah Lupton, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney
  2. 2. Web 1.0 • one-way website use, little user content creation, landline internet connections, desktop and laptop computers Web 2.0 • user-created content or commentary, social networking sites, ubiquitous computing, mobile devices, media convergence Web 3.0 • interconnected 'smart objects' that can communicate with each other, producing a single interlinked database From Web 1.0 to Web 3.0
  3. 3. What is digital health? • using Web 2.0 platforms -- Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, PatientsLikeMe, online news, blogs and wikis • now moving towards Web 3.0 – the body as ‘node in the Internet of Things’ • mobile wireless and wearable computer technologies • embedded sensors in technologies • digital data collection on individuals and populations (‘big data’) • digitised medical records
  4. 4. What is digital health? eHealth mHealth Health 2.0 Medicine 2.0 digital health
  5. 5. Digital health includes telemedicine/telecare public health surveillance personalised medicine/patient engagement health and medical platforms + websites health promotion strategies self-tracking (the quantified self)
  6. 6. iHealth digital blood pressure monitor
  7. 7. Health vital monitoring patch (heart rate, respiration rate, fall detection, stress, skin temperature, activity, calories burnt, body posture)
  8. 8. Sleep Shirt containing sensors to measure movement for sleep apnoea detection
  9. 9. Bodymetric trackers to ‘quantify the self”
  10. 10. Google Glass used in medicine and public health
  11. 11. critical digital health science and technology studies social science of medicine/public health surveillance studies media, cultural and communication studies the arts and design
  12. 12. Research questions • How do the news media cover digital health topics? • What websites, platforms and apps are valued for health- related information or patient support? • What kinds of content are created and shared by lay people via social media platforms? • What do corporate social platforms do with this content?
  13. 13. Research questions • In the face of techno-utopia, what are the lived experiences of people using digital health technologies? • Who to trust in the digital media world?
  14. 14. Research questions • How are concepts of ‘health’ and ‘the body’ shaped through digital technology use? • How are healthcare providers using digital technologies? • How are professionals in health promotion and public health using digital technologies?
  15. 15. Research questions • What are the political dimensions and power relations inherent in the use of these technologies? • How will privacy be defined and experienced in the context of these media? • What are the implications for how people conduct their everyday lives and social relationships?
  16. 16. Theoretical perspectives • The cyborg body/post-human body • From the haptic to the optic • Forms of surveillance: panoptic, synoptic, participatory, uberveillance • Data doubles
  17. 17. Theoretical perspectives • Domesticating technologies • Prosumption • Technology as performative • The sociocultural dimensions of hardware and software
  18. 18. More information • ‘Towards a critical sociology of digital health technologies’ (blog post) • ‘Social aspects of digital media and health care’ ( collection)