Personal Medical Devices: People and Technology in the Context of Health
Why should we explore personal medical devices (PMDs)? Fuelled by the growth of so-called lifestyle conditions, shifts to personalised and patient-led medicine and the increasing sophistication and miniaturisation of devices themselves, PMDs have become increasingly significant in both clinical and non-clinical arenas. This chapter presents some of the intersections and new relationships, possibilities and constructions of health that the use and development of these technologies present. PMDs question existing concepts of bodily boundaries and processes (the ‘personal’), the purview of medicine and its handling of its objects of study (the ‘medical’) and wider consequences of these technologies (the ‘device’). Introducing the contributions to the book, the chapter argues that nuanced, critical and empirically grounded approaches are needed to interrogate and understand emerging issues in this field.
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