Self-tracking technologies and 'active aging'; An ethnography of a sensor-based technology for the promotion of physical rehabilitation and home training
(Copenhagen University )
Paper short abstract:
On the basis of ethnographic material, this paper explores how data from a sensor-based technology for the promotion of home training is translated and become meaningful in elderly citizens everyday life.
Paper long abstract:
In the last decade the life of elderly people has become increasingly entangled with various self-tracking and self-monitoring technologies (i.e. pedometers, digital glucose monitors, telemedicine) which are considered valuable tools for the promotion of health in elderly citizens and the realization of 'active aging'. Whereas this development has given rise to concerns about elderly people's lack of numeracy and the identification of a 'numeracy gap' between health care providers and elderly people, less is known about how elderly people use and give meaning to digital technologies and personal data in their everyday lives. This paper takes outset in an ongoing ethnography of the implementation and use of a sensor-based technology, which is developed to promote physical rehabilitation and home training in frail elderly citizens and allows health professionals to assess from a distance, if the elderly citizen follows the rehabilitation plan. On the basis of ethnographic material I explore the processes through which data are translated and become meaningful in elderly citizens everyday life. I propose an understanding of data as an element in an infrastructure that interrelate the home and the clinic and argue that data have both place making effects (the organization of home which demands the emplacements of various objects and activities in everyday life), and temporal effects (the organisation of time, that creates a reorganization of participants' sense of the past and the future).
Everyday analytics: The politics and practices of self-monitoring