Health Matters: A Social science and Ethnographic Study of Patient and Professional Involvement in the Governance of Converging Technologies in Medicine
Co-ordinator: Zeppelin University, Germany
Client: European Commission, DG Research
Duration: June 2009 – July 2012
HealthGovMatters explores patients’ and professionals’ involvement in governing the production and mediation of health and medical knowledge. Focusing specifically on the implementation of converging technologies in medicine, social science and ethnographic methods derived from the anthropology of science, the sociology of knowledge, comparative policy studies and science and technology studies are used to investigate forms of commitment related to predictive, diagnostic and therapeutic technologies along the axes of gender and generation.
Work will be performed in the fields of neurology and genetics, two key sites where new technologies enabled by synergisms of developments in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive sciences are being integrated and implemented. Often referred to as â€˜converging technologiesâ€™, the integration of these technologies in the field of medicine is viewed as holding the potential to improve ICT capacity for medical data management and information generation and to provide the foundation for translating research knowledge into clinical trials and clinical practice. The interest of the project is to explore the interactions between constellations of actors (patients, carers, health professionals, citizens, patient and professional organizations) involved in mediating and formulating definitions and lived meanings of health, illness and disease in the context of new converging technologies. What roles do patients and professionals play in representing new diagnostic or therapeutic possibilities and making decisions regarding the development and use of new technologies?
- The Interdisciplinary Centre for Comparative Research in the Social Sciences (ICCR), Austria
- Goldsmiths University of London, UK