Mort, Maggie, Finch, Tracey and May, Carl
Making and unmaking telepatients: identity and governance in new health technologies
Science, Technology, & Human Values, 34, (1), . (doi:10.1177/0162243907311274).
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The emergence of the field of health care at a distance, or “telehealth,” has been embedded within discourses of high ambition about health improvement, seamless services, empowerment, and independence for patients. In this article, the authors examine how telehealthcare technologies assume certain forms of patients—or “telepatients”—who can be mobilized and combined with images and artifacts that speak for them in the clinical encounter. Second, a tentative intervention is made in these emerging identities in the form of facilitating some alternative discourses about telehealthcare. The aim is to stimulate debate by presenting and contrasting these different approaches to technology development. Such differences take material and discursive shape in the making and unmaking of telepatients, showing important interferences in the shaping of identity and possibilities for governance and participation.
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