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Accepted Paper:

The role of ethnography in the development of digital solutions in the Danish public healthcare system: Multidisciplinary approaches to the living lab.  
Charlotte Christiansen (The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies) Ronja Rosenberg Grøn (Silkeborg Regional Hospital) Camilla Rossen Janni Stroem (Capio Private Hospitals, DK)

Paper short abstract:

The paper presents two digital solutions in the Danish healthcare sector. They serve as examples of a broader political goal to transform future healthcare through digitalization. Seeing the two cases as living labs, we discuss how ethnography can contribute in such multidisciplinary settings.

Paper long abstract:

This paper presents two research projects centered on digital solutions in the Danish healthcare sector. Digitalization is expected to contribute to overcoming the global challenges of rising health care costs, by making healthcare more efficient, while simultaneously improving patient experiences of e.g. coherence and empowerment in their patient pathway

The first project consisted of the development of animated videos that communicated health information to patients with low back pain. The second project consisted of the development of a smartphone app, which allowed users to self-track their low back pain and share this information with healthcare professionals. Both cases were multidisciplinary research projects involving e.g. clinicians, quantitative researchers, private IT-companies, and ethnographers. The task of the ethnographers was to explore how the digital solutions worked in practice for the patients.

In the way users were invited to share their perspectives and experiences of the digital solutions in more or less familiar contexts – in-between a laboratory and everyday life - the two cases can be understood as ‘living labs’

The paper discusses how the ethnographer can navigate such multidisciplinary experimental settings, where different understandings of ‘laboratory’ and 'real life' reside. By the nature of their methods, ethnographers experience the many unforeseen elements that can arise when testing new technology in the living lab. Ethnographic ’data’ are thus often messy and point in several directions. Based on our two cases, we propose how ethnography can contribute to the multidisciplinary development of digital solutions, and a meaningful digital transformation of future healthcare.

Panel P146a
Experimental transformations - Living labs as hopeful commons [FAN]
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -