By N. Oudshoorn
Winner of the British Sociological organization origin for the Sociology of well-being and disease ebook Prize, 2012.
This booklet strains the alterations in healthcare implicated in telecare applied sciences: details and conversation applied sciences that permit care at a distance. What occurs whilst healthcare strikes from actual to digital encounters among healthcare pros and sufferers? What are the results for sufferers once they are anticipated to do issues that was performed via healthcare execs? What truly occurs whilst houses turn into electronically stressed out to healthcare firms? those are pressing questions which are, notwithstanding, mostly absent in dominant discourses on telecare.
Drawing on insights from technological know-how, expertise, and human geography, this paintings opens up novel bills of the adoption and use of recent applied sciences in healthcare. Nelly Oudshoorn indicates how telecare applied sciences perform redefining the obligations and identities of sufferers and healthcare execs, introducing a brand new classification of healthcare employees, and altering the categories of care and areas the place healthcare is located. This e-book intervenes severely into discourses that commemorate the independence of position and time through exhibiting how locations and actual contacts nonetheless topic in care at a distance.
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Extra resources for Telecare Technologies and the Transformation of Healthcare
According to medical sociologists, sustaining a meaningful proximity to patients is a crucial aspect of healthcare (Malone, 2003). The absence of face-to-face contacts between healthcare providers and patients scripted in telecare technologies implies that healthcare professionals can only rely on images and graphs that have to speak for the patient. Techniques such as palpitation and touch, ‘a cornerstone of healthcare’ (Cartwright, 2000, p. 351) and literally seeing the patient are no longer available to them.
Like discourses on the Internet, discourses on telecare also tend to ignore place. The very name of the technology – telecare, or telemedical technology – portrays these innovations as tools that provide care-at-a-distance without specifying the places involved. This representation tends to make us believe that locations where care takes place are no longer relevant. When addressed at all, sites such as the home are presented as a ‘tabula rasa’ in which telecare devices can be introduced unproblematically.
They have to act as testers, test-subjects, and healthcare providers willing to adapt their current care practices to the new technology. Compared to physicians, nurses figure less prominently in the expectation statements in the US. Press releases announcing the pilot study in the US refer to nurses only implicitly when they mention the role of ‘care staff’. In the press releases announcing the first pilot study in Europe, nurses figure more prominently. This press information allocates roles to two categories of nurse: telenurses who work in the telemedical centre run by Achmea, and heart-failure nurses who work at the polyclinic of the involved hospitals.