Quantified Lives and Vital Data: Some Concluding Remarks

Part of the Health, Technology and Society book series (HTE)


Reflecting on the contributions to this edited volume, this chapter draws out some of the key themes and issues raised by social science approaches to personal medical devices (PMDs). The chapters illustrate that what PMDs (and other health technologies) ‘do’ and ‘are’ may be quite different. They are variously embedded through practices, spaces, times, and relationships and so cannot be considered as stand-alone objects. Likewise, particular boundaries that PMDs bring into focus—e.g., self/other, bodily boundaries, medicine and medical boundaries, and bodily/health data—are not fixed or prescriptive but rather dynamic and changing. Investigating PMDs therefore allows exploration of dynamic and situated intersections of people, health, and technology—the quantified lives that we increasingly live and the vital data produced by these.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cambridge Centre for Health Services ResearchUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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