When self-tracking enters physical rehabilitation: From ‘pushed’ self-tracking to ongoing affective encounters in arrangements of care – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Anthropology > Research > Selected publications > When self-tracking ent...

04 September 2017

When self-tracking enters physical rehabilitation: From ‘pushed’ self-tracking to ongoing affective encounters in arrangements of care

Post.doc Nete Schwennesen has written the article 'When self-tracking enters physical rehabilitation: From 'pushed' self-tracking to ongoing affective encounters in arrangements of care'. It is published in the journal Digital Health.

In this paper, Nete Schwennesen explores what happens when self-tracking technologies and devices travel into the context of physical rehabilitation and come to constitute what Lupton has called 'pushed' self-tracking. By unpacking the processes through which a self-tracking technology is put to use in physical rehabilitation in Denmark, and the kind of relationships patients and healthcare providers establish with and through this technology, she illustrates how a new geography of responsibility is constituted, where responsibility for professional guidance is delegated to the technology and patients are expected to produce and engage in movement data. In contrast to the image of 'pushing' as a single activity where one part (technology) has the authority to push the other (patient) to act in certain ways, Nete Schwennesen argues that 'the push' is better described as an ongoing and contingent process that evolves through affective and affecting encounters between human (patients, healthcare providers) and nonhuman (technology, algorithms, software) actors. In the article Nete Schwennesen illustrates that even though responsibility is delegated to the technology, it is unable to make bodies move by itself. Rather, what determines what 'it' becomes and how 'it' comes to act is enabled by the constitution of a wider arrangement of care and the arrangements' ability to affect and respond to particular bodies.

Nete Schwennesen, When self-tracking enters physical rehabilitation: From 'pushed' self-tracking to ongoing affective encounters in arrangements of care in Digital Health, August 2017.