Multiple forms of Appropriation in Self-monitoring Technology: Reflections on the role of evaluation in Future Self-care
(Journal Special Issue, 2010)
Storni, C. (2010) Multiple forms of appropriation in Self-Monitoring Technology: reflections on the role fo evaluation in Future Self-care, International Journal of Human Computer Interaction – Special issue on ‘Evaluating new interaction in Health Care’ – Vol. 26 (5), pp. 537-561
IDC members among authors:
This paper discusses implications for the design of evaluation studies of self-care technologies and practices with respect to a current shift toward technologically mediated self-care in Health Care. Through the notion of appropriation of technology, I will show that as self-care devices migrated into lay patients’ lives and their domestic environment, we are confronted with a series of different instances of appropriation where patient empowerment and autonomy take different forms. With a particular focus on self-monitoring devices such as blood-pressure monitors and glucose meters, I will discuss a series of illustrative vignettes from an ethnographic study and I will argue for a multi-valence of appropriation of self-care technology and the need to understand its implications on the design of studies for their evaluation. I will address three conclusive reflections to re-think the role of evaluation study in the current shift toward self-care: the need to move beyond technological determinism, the need to reflect on whose interests the evaluation serve, and the need to carefully re-think the very goal of evaluation studies in self-care themselves.