Data as Transformational: Constrained and Liberated Bodies in an ‘Artificial Pancreas’ Study

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


Whether intervening within bodies or monitoring them externally, personal medical devices (PMDs) are a uniquely intimate and ubiquitous source of data, in many cases offering PMD users the ability to gain granular knowledge about hitherto unknown aspects of their own bodies. This chapter foregrounds the specific kinds of data generated by ‘artificial pancreas’ systems in Type 1 diabetes. Through analysis of interviews with participants in a study of pregnant women using the artificial pancreas, this chapter draws on ‘sensemaking’ theories to explore how PMD data can reconstitute micro-scale attitudes to the self and technology. The variability of such experiences illustrates the complexity of technology usage as it occurs in practice and the multiple ways in which data increasingly play important roles in experiences of health and illness.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Clinical MedicineUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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