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

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In this paper, I explore 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, I illustrate 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, I argue 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. I illustrate 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Health
Volume3
Pages (from-to)1-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2017

ID: 189736902