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Symposium: Health Technologies in Practice on 19–20 June 2019

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Health technologies in practice: Between the home and the clinic

Time and venue
From 12:30pm on Wednesday 19th June 2019 to 1:30pm Thursday 20th June 2019
St Mary’s Church, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, S2 4QZ, UK.


There has been an explosion in markets for digital and wearable technologies such as Fitbit and health apps.  At the same time, and to some extent prefiguring this, there has been a growth in consumer markets for what might be thought of as more clinically oriented self-monitoring devices.  Products that were once seen as the preserve of clinicians, such as blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose or blood oxygen monitors, are now widely available to buy.  

It is claimed that self-monitoring could transform healthcare, promoting self-care, improving health and saving costs. The provenance of such claims can be traced through previous innovations such as ehealth, telecare and telehealth.  Yet, as with previous innovations, self-monitoring raises important questions about the spaces, places and relationships involved, our interactions with different objects, devices and health professionals, and the production, distribution and control of knowledge and responsibility for health. We might also ask how we come to understand self-monitoring, and the different methods for approaching this from a social science perspective.

This symposium is part of a Leverhulme Trust Funded Research Project on ‘Knowledge, Care and the Practices of Self-Monitoring’.  The project aimed to understand how and why people self-monitor and to consider how this relates to knowledge, expertise and care.  Presentations at the symposium will relate to self-monitoring and other everyday health technologies to consider ‘health technologies in practice’ from different perspectives and very different methodologies. The symposium brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, with interests in science and technology studies, medical sociology, anthropology, disability studies, media studies and cultural studies.

Speakers include:

  • Btihaj Ajana, King’s College London – Sharing and its discontents in the quantified self culture
  • Dorthe Brogård Kristensen, University of Southern Denmark – Self-tracking, data and the imaginary of metrics
  • Fiona Stevenson, University College London – Raising, discussing and using the internet in GP consultations
  • Janice McLaughlin, University of Newcastle – The home and everyday life as a site of embodied self-monitoring
  • Minna Ruckenstein, University of Helsinki – Seeking medicinal agencies: Antidepressants and life effects
  • Kate Weiner and Ros Williams, University of Sheffield – Partial data and curation: the everyday data practices of self-monitoring
  • Catherine Will and Flis Henwood, Universities of Sussex and Brighton – Relating with data: stories of self-monitoring with care


  • Kate Weiner, University of Sheffield
  • Jacob Andrews, University of Sheffield
  • Catherine Will, University of Sussex
  • Flis Henwood, University of Brighton


  • For further information and to register, click here.
  • Tracking Ourselves?‘ is a research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust.


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