‘Monitoring vital signs or mediating loving care and connection: the social codes of new care technologies’

Ingunn Moser and Jeanette Pols – University of Oslo/University of Amsterdam:

Download power point presentation> Telecare_IMJP

Icat interacting with user or master
The Icat by Philips

Notes written by students of Theo Vurdubakis -Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University:
Ingunn’s presentation focused upon the growing recognition of the need for a deeper understanding of care technologies and the complexities of material, social, cultural, emotional and aesthetic relations involved in these. The aim of the presentation was to examine and discuss how certain and specific new technologies of care were constructed/designed and how this affected and is affecting relations of care and what it means to be cared for in contemporary times.

The first example of a ‘care technology’ that was introduced was the ‘HealthBuddy.’ Designed by IDEO in 1999. This was outlined as a ‘typical’ technological care system to which those being cared for can be seen to become socially and emotionally attached. This system is designed to monitor and educate those being cared for by asking them a series of questions each day relating to their symptoms, behaviour and knowledge. For example, ‘Did you weigh yourself today?’

health buddy

Continue reading

Discussion

Why did Aibo go out of production? We don’t know.

Do carers really care? The Eros-Thanatos relation is more complicated. Hate is also mediated through these technologies. There are times in care when this happens.

To what extent does the telecare offer surveillance of care-work? What kinds of pre-emptive effects arise? Do they displace protection or prevention? Reading of screens or codes works both for and against surveillance. Often local knowledge allows selection between different readings of the screens. The managers and commissioners of services can trace the work of carers.

Do patient hate their carers? Yes, even in these systems. They like people some people and not others.

Where does the image of the butler come in? The good butler renders their care invisible. How could a cat been seen as a butler?

How do the people who commission these systems think they work? The abstraction of work does not seem plausible. Somehow it is meant to address specificity. The technology is meant to make people think they are not being treated like a statistic? The push is towards individualization, in many ways. Finer grades of abstraction are ok, but not video cameras.

Why does the conversation about code and care come together? What does code do here? It disables care, it disconnects. It also leads to connections or attachments. The relation between the ill person and the illness seems to drop out here. Illness does not work out source or script or data. Prevention never works but neither does preemption. One could be seduced by a box for a while, but an illness might come and could not be coded.

The box assumes that an illness can be coded and controlled.

Protection has been cached out here in particular ways here – as a trajectory of vulnerability. The trajectory looks very different from different PoV. The agency might have a different view than the client, who feels the here and now. For the latter, the moving in and out of resources feels very different.

Workshop 2 : CODES & CONDUCT starts tomorrow

I will be back in Lancaster on Monday to hear all about workshop 2: Codes and Conduct. Check out the tab to read more about the various subjects that will be discussed including the remote management of aged care, demonic media, hospitality management, airport passenger management, highways, hacker cultures and agriculture.

codes-wheel.jpg codes-wheel-top.jpg

From jiblues flickr