Interoperability and Convergence for Welfare Technology

  • Michela CozzaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10927)


Interoperability and convergence are two key features of any working sociotechnical infrastructure that includes a plurality and multiplicity of communities of practice using technologies. However, as information systems scale up and the heterogeneity of users increases, it becomes challenging to actualise interoperability and convergence. When it comes to welfare services, the development of interoperable information systems and converging communities of practice is key to the quality and efficiency of services, both for practitioners and users. This paper elaborates on these concepts and their practical relevance by presenting and discussing data from a research project on ageing and welfare technology in Sweden. A participatory approach is meant to act as methodological support for the actualisation of interoperability and convergence even though socio-organisational and political constraints cannot be fully overcome once for all.


Communities of practice Cooperation Infrastructuring 


  1. 1.
    Alasuutari, P.: Researching Culture: Qualitative Method and Cultural Studies. Sage, London (1995)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bannon, L.: A pilgrim’s progress: from cognitive science to cooperative design. AI Soc. 4, 259–275 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bowker, G.C., Baker, K., Millerand, F., Ribes, D.: Toward information infrastructure studies: ways of knowing in a networked environment. In: Hinsinger, J., Klastrup, L., Allen, M. (eds.) International Handbook of Internet Research, pp. 97–117. Springer, London (2010)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Czaja, S.J., Schulz, R.: Innovations in technology and aging. Generations 30(2), 6–8 (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Grudin, J.: The computer reaches out: the historical continuity of interface design. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 1990, pp. 261–268. ACM Press, New York (1990)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hardey, M., Loader, B.: The informatisation of welfare: older people and the role of digital services. Br. J. Soc. Work 39, 657–669 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hanson, E., Magnusson, L., Sennemark, E.: Practice concepts and policy analysis. Gerontologist 51, 561–570 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jakimoski, K.: Challenges of interoperability and integration in education information systems. Int. J. Database Theory Appl. 9(2), 33–46 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Karasti, H., Baker, K.S., Millerand, F.: Infrastructure time: long-term matters in collaborative development. Comput. Support. Coop. Work 19, 377–415 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kylberg, M., Löfqvist, C., Tomsone, S., Phillips, J., Liepina, Z., Iwarsson, S.: A European perspective on the service delivery systems for assistive technology – differences and similarities between Latvia and Sweden. J. Cross Cult. Gerontol. 30, 51–67 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lave, J., Wenger, E.: Situated Learning-Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Law, J.: Notes on the theory of the actor-network: ordering, strategy and heterogeneity. Syst. Pract. 5, 379–393 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lincoln, Y.S., Guba, E.G.: Naturalistic Inquiry. Sage, Newbury Park (1985)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    McCreadie, C.: Technology and older people. In: Dannefer, D., Phillipson, C. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Social Gerontology, pp. 607–617. Sage, London (2013)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues. Accessed 3 Nov 2017
  16. 16.
    Patil, R.; The importance of EHR interoperability for better patient care.,2. Accessed 3 Nov 2017
  17. 17.
    Peine, A., Rollwagen, I., Neven, L.: The rise of the ‘innosumer’ – rethinking older technology users. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 82, 199–214 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Petersson, I., Lilja, M., Borell, L.: To feel safe in everyday life at home – a study of older adults after home modifications. Ageing Soc. 32, 791–811 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pipek, V., Wulf, V.: Infrastructuring: toward an integrated perspective on the design and use of information technology. J. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 10(5), 447–473 (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rupp, S.: How is interoperability critical to healthcare innovation? Accessed 12 Feb 2018
  21. 21.
    Simonsen, J., Robertson, T.: Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design. Routledge, New York and London (2013)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Søndergård, D.C.: Future challenges and the role of welfare technology. Accessed 25 Oct 2017
  23. 23.
    Star, S.L., Bowker, G.C.: Work and infrastructure. Commun. ACM 38(9), 41 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Star, S.L., Griesemer, J.R.: Institutional ecology, ‘translation’ and boundary objects: amateurs and professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of vertebrate Zoology. Soc. Stud. Sci. 19, 387–420 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Star, S.L., Bowker, G.C., Neumann, L.J.: Transparency beyond the individual level of scale: convergence between information artifacts and communities of practice. In: Bishop, A.P., Van House, N.A., Buttenfield, B.P. (eds.) Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation, pp. 241–269. MIT Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business Society and EngineeringMälardalen UniversityVästeråsSweden

Personalised recommendations