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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Antonio Francesco Maturo and Veronica Moretti

The chapter critically analyzes the concepts and the practices of surveillance in modern and postmodern societies along with their consequences. We show the changes in the…

Abstract

The chapter critically analyzes the concepts and the practices of surveillance in modern and postmodern societies along with their consequences. We show the changes in the systems, which are used to monitor individuals, and emphasize the transition toward soft surveillance systems, probably stimulated by digital technologies. This switch from top-down control to “lateral” monitoring systems encloses surveillance practices with suggestive names like interveillance, synopticon, and dataveillance. The dark side of digital health has a bright start. According to Topol’s (2016) vision of the future, we will soon be the “consumers,” the real protagonists, of the management of our health – thanks largely to the practically endless data about our bodies, behaviors, and lifestyles we will be able to collect and analyze. We will share our health information in real time with the doctors whom we will choose based on their score in clinical rankings (here, too, quantification rears its head). Yet, this simplified version of health makes it seem that there are always some solutions, which the algorithm can supply as long as it has enough information. Moreover, in the United States, some health-insurance companies have started to offer a discount on premiums to the members who agree to collect and share self-tracking data with them. Clearly, the discount is given only to the workers who have healthy habits. At first sight, this can seem as a win-win trade-off; however, what today is presented as an individual option can easily become a requirement tomorrow.

Details

Digital Health and the Gamification of Life: How Apps Can Promote a Positive Medicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-366-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Antonio Francesco Maturo and Veronica Moretti

Abstract

Details

Digital Health and the Gamification of Life: How Apps Can Promote a Positive Medicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-366-9

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Antonio Francesco Maturo and Veronica Moretti

Abstract

Details

Digital Health and the Gamification of Life: How Apps Can Promote a Positive Medicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-366-9

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Eliudi Eliakimu

Worldwide situation analysis on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) released in 2015 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed inadequate capability to respond to AMR…

Abstract

Purpose

Worldwide situation analysis on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) released in 2015 by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed inadequate capability to respond to AMR in African region. Report of antibiotics use and resistance in Tanzania revealed rising levels of healthcare associated Methicilin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections; while other studies have reported high prevalence of Expanded Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL). The purpose of this paper is to review the current situation of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in Tanzania using strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges (SWOC) analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

General literature review was done on use of antimicrobials in Google Scholar, websites of key organisations including WHO, and grey literature. Conceptual framework designed by the authors was used to inform SWOC analysis of the Tanzanian health sector.

Findings

The SWOC analysis has revealed much strength in the Tanzanian health sector indicating that increasing investments in laboratory services, in medicines Regulatory Authority and Pharmacy Council, and strengthening management teams at all levels of service delivery, including Medicines and Therapeutics Committees; and strengthening advocacy on rational use of antimicrobials both in humans and livestock will improve AMS.

Research limitations/implications

This is a general literature review. No interview of experts or use of questionnaires was used. However, based on the literature found and author’s experience in the health sector, the information contained is valid for consideration in making policy decisions about AMR in Tanzania.

Practical implications

Designing policy interventions to prevent development of AMR to commonly used antimicrobials.

Social implications

Improving social wellbeing in the community through prevention of morbidity and mortality resulting from multi-resistant pathogens.

Originality/value

This is the authors original idea backed by available literature.

Details

International Journal of Health Governance, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-4631

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2019

Scott S.D. Mitchell

Traditional public health methods for tracking contagious diseases are increasingly complemented with digital tools, which use data mining, analytics and crowdsourcing to…

Abstract

Purpose

Traditional public health methods for tracking contagious diseases are increasingly complemented with digital tools, which use data mining, analytics and crowdsourcing to predict disease outbreaks. In recent years, alongside these public health tools, commercial mobile apps such as Sickweather have also been released. Sickweather collects information from across the web, as well as self-reports from users, so that people can see who is sick in their neighborhood. The purpose of this paper is to examine the privacy and surveillance implications of digital disease tracking tools.

Design/methodology/approach

The author performed a content and platform analysis of two apps, Sickweather and HealthMap, by using them for three months, taking regular screenshots and keeping a detailed user journal. This analysis was guided by the walkthrough method and a cultural-historical activity theory framework, taking note of imagery and other content, but also the app functionalities, including characteristics of membership, “rules” and parameters of community mobilization and engagement, monetization and moderation. This allowed me to study HealthMap and Sickweather as modes of governance that allow for (and depend upon) certain actions and particular activity systems.

Findings

Draw on concepts of network power, the surveillance assemblage, and Deleuze’s control societies, as well as the data gathered from the content and platform analysis, the author argues that disease tracking apps construct disease threat as omnipresent and urgent, compelling users to submit personal information – including sensitive health data – with little oversight or regulation.

Originality/value

Disease tracking mobile apps are growing in popularity yet have received little attention, particularly regarding privacy concerns or the construction of disease risk.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1996

Caroline A. Stevens, Anne Morris and Goff Sargent

A study has been carried out into sources of consumer health information available in the UK, with particular emphasis on the use of electronic sources of health…

Abstract

A study has been carried out into sources of consumer health information available in the UK, with particular emphasis on the use of electronic sources of health information As part of this latter aim, the research has entailed an investigation of the Internet to identify the types of health information available. This paper discusses briefly the sources of health information that are available to the public, focusing on electronic information sources, and then presents the results from the search of the Internet for health information. (The links presented were correct at the time of going to press but, as with the nature of the Internet, some links may change.) The facilities available on the Internet which were used to guide the search are presented. Twenty major health information sites were identified and examples of the types of subjects presented at each site are given. The information found is judged for its suitability for the consumer or professional. In conclusion, the usefulness of the Internet as a health information source is considered.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Book part
Publication date: 3 August 2011

Annemarie Jutel

Purpose – This chapter presents a case for reframing medical sociology to focus on diagnosis as a pivotal category of analysis via an extended literature review of the…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter presents a case for reframing medical sociology to focus on diagnosis as a pivotal category of analysis via an extended literature review of the diagnosis as a tool of medicine.

Methodology/approach – Conceptual overview.

Practical implications – By reviewing the range of social functions served by diagnosis, and the similarly wide assortment of social forces that shape diagnostic categories, this chapter pushes social scientists and theorists to consider diagnosis as a cornerstone to the understanding of health, illness, and disease.

Originality/value of paper – Building on Brown's earlier call for a sociology of diagnosis, this chapter sets forth potential parameters for this field. It defines how the study of diagnosis is dissipated across myriad areas of scholarship, including medicalization, disease theory, ethics, classification theory, and history of medicine. Extirpating diagnosis and revealing it for specific discussion provides an opportunity to study topics such as illness experiences, health social movements, and disease recognition from a different and rich perspective.

Details

Sociology of Diagnosis
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-575-5

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Antonio Francesco Maturo and Veronica Moretti

The biomedical paradigm enjoys growing importance in our society. Biomedicine (e.g., Genetics) seems to occupy the position once held by religion and politics. In this…

Abstract

The biomedical paradigm enjoys growing importance in our society. Biomedicine (e.g., Genetics) seems to occupy the position once held by religion and politics. In this context, every trivial problem of daily life is thought to require an appropriate remedy, and perfect health becomes a paramount value, especially within the upper class.

Medicalization is not only promoted by doctors. Today, other engines of medicalization are also available. These include pharmaceutical companies through marketing, advertising, and disease mongering; active consumers who seek a pharmacological solution – a magic bullet – to solve non-organic problems; technology, because highly sensitive diagnostic tools can now detect potential abnormalities even in very low quantities; and the culture of risk, which is connected to the evolution of diagnostic tools, because it is now always possible to be at risk of something.

The parts of life today considered pathological or quasi-pathological are ever increasing shyness, sadness, imperfect blood pressure, or glucose levels. Progressing editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) – the text from which diagnoses of mental illnesses are made – reveal a growing number of syndromes. These “diseases” are diagnosed on the grounds of certain symptoms and the number of weeks they last (quantification). Smartphones, with their tremendous capacity for data collection, contribute to a growth in self-diagnoses. For example, invited to log our every moment of sadness through a “trustworthy” avatar from our app (gamification), we can easily make too much of normal moments of discomfort, immediately seeing them – with a simple computation – transformed into something pathological in need of a cure.

Details

Digital Health and the Gamification of Life: How Apps Can Promote a Positive Medicalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-366-9

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 3 August 2011

PJ McGann

Purpose – To explore the ideological effects and social control potential of diagnostic biopsychiatry and encourage the sociology of diagnosis to retain key insights of…

Abstract

Purpose – To explore the ideological effects and social control potential of diagnostic biopsychiatry and encourage the sociology of diagnosis to retain key insights of early medicalization scholarship.

Methodology – As the sociology of diagnosis emerges from medicalization, it is imperative that the new sub-specialty retains the critical edge of the early scholarship. With this in mind the paper reviews key aspects of the medicalization thesis, emphasizing the links between medical definitions and social control processes (e.g. Conrad, 1992; Conrad & Schneider, 1992; Zola, 1972). Based on this review scholars are urged to be mindful of the “diagnostic imaginary” -- a way of thinking that conceals the presence of the social in diagnoses, and which closes off critical analysis of the existential-connectedness and political nature of diagnoses.

Findings – The paradigm shift from dynamic to diagnostic psychiatry in DSM-III opened the door to a new biomedical model that has enhanced American psychiatry's scientific aura and prestige. With the increased presence and ordinariness of diagnoses in everyday life, an illusory view of diagnoses as scientific entities free of cultural ties has emerged, intensifying the dangers of medical social control.

Social implications – By illustrating that diagnoses are cultural objects imbued with political meaning, the ideological effects and social control potential of diagnostic biopsychiatry may be mitigated.

Abstract

Details

The Cryopolitics of Reproduction on Ice: A New Scandinavian Ice Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-043-6

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