Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Quantified self-technologies for better a disease management?
Authors: Meidert, Ursula
Scheermesser, Mandy
et. al: No
Conference details: 2021 Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association : "Social Justice in Times of Uncertainty", Geneva, Switzerland (online), 28-30 June 2021
Issue Date: 28-Jun-2021
Language: English
Subjects: Quantified Self; Chronic desease; mHealth; Acceptance; User perspective; Wearables; Health apps; Motives
Subject (DDC): 300: Social sciences
613: Personal health
Abstract: Background: Apps, fitness-trackers and other wearables have found broad acceptance in the general population. The interest in self-quantification and -optimization has strongly increased during the past few years and got an additional boost during the Corona Crisis. This trend is called «The Quantified-Self» and it is practiced not only for fun and out of curiosity, but for many it is out of an urge to improve one’s health. However, little is known about what the peoples’ experience is like, what implications it has for them (Belliger & Krieger, 2015; Lupton, 2013), how they deal with the measures taken and the threat of data leakage. This study explores these questions and adds also the perspective of health professionals and how they deal with the self-obtained data from their patients in their practice. Method: An extensive literature review was conducted to outline the current state and future developments of data-driven self-optimization. Furthermore, three moderated focus groups of about 90 minutes each with 6-8 persons were conducted: one group with healthy individuals, one with chronically ill individuals and one with health professionals. In addition, a meet-up of the Quantified Self group in Zurich, was attended. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and content-analyzed. Results: The analysis shows that healthy individuals measure their body states and behavior mainly out of fun, interest of the body, curiosity and for documentation purposes. Improving their health is often only a secondary goal. People with a chronic illness in contrast measure mainly for disease management purposes. They strive to maintain their health and rebuild normality and independence alongside their health issue. In using electronic devices and self-obtained data, they are trying to maintain everyday life (Haslbeck et al., 2012; Mahrer Imhof et al., 2007). Corbin and Strauss (1985) refer to these disease management activities as "illness work". Quantified Self-technologies contribute to illness work, e.g. taking medication, measuring glucose or sleep. Individuals with chronic diseases attach great importance to data security and therefore tend to use conventional measuring devices or obtain all together from any device that has capacity to go online. For both groups, the measurement results have an impact on everyday life. Health professionals are currently very reluctant to make use of self-measured data from their patients and prefer to measure themselves. Furthermore, they are reluctant in recommending such devices to their patients. The analysis showed a gap between the users need for guidance in choosing a good product and make use of the data and the health professionals willingness to provide guidance and coaching.
Further description: Part of the session "Social in/justice through data-driven healthcare technologies : empirical findings of early career researchers"
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/22767
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Health Sciences
Organisational Unit: Institute of Occupational Therapy (IER)
Institute of Physiotherapy (IPT)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: Quantified Self – Schnittstelle zwischen Lifestyle und Medizin
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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