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Accepted Paper:

I simply had no idea what I was allowed to do. Self-tracking as a popular method by and for patients to explore and understand their own chronic illness in more detail  
Ann Kristin Augst (TU Dortmund)

Short abstract:

This presentation sheds light on how patients and people with chronic diseases monitor their own health/illness with the help of fitness trackers or apps. It also explores how doctors deal with this patient-generated data and figures – and the resulting expertise of the patients for themselves.

Long abstract:

People who use health apps and fitness trackers generally do so in order to better understand their own bodies. The aim is often to objectify physical sensations. While this also applies to people with chronic illnesses, this specific group of users tends to draw on digital health devices not so much in pursuit of reaching best marks or highest fitness ratings, but in a much more essential manner. Their primary aim is to manage their disease by organising everyday life in such a way that warning signs are recognised early on, so-called crashes are avoided and/or their overall quality of life is improved.

Based on interviews conducted with both patients and doctors in Germany as part of the research project “Digital body knowledge. Conflict lines of problematic popularity in health care” (funded by the German Research Foundation), this presentation aims to answer the following questions: What knowledge do health trackers offer that helps patients and particularly people with chronic diseases to better understand their illness and their bodies? To what extent does digital self-measurement help them manage life with their (chronic) illness? And how do doctors assess digital health device usage and the repercussions of it for doctor-patient relations, as well as for people’s broader perception of their own state of health? This presentation will demonstrate how patients and people with chronic diseases are taking matters of health and illness into their own hands with the help of fitness trackers – and how (their) doctors relate to this individualistic approach.

Traditional Open Panel P290
Sociotechnical transformations of health care: practices of objectivations, knowledge translation and new forms of agency
  Session 1 Friday 19 July, 2024, -