Is digital technology a technical or adaptive problem in health?

Is digital technology a technical or adaptive problem in health?

Around three years ago I was invited to speak at a consultant psychiatrists committee meeting about social media and digital technology. I was mid way through my PhD and steeped in online ethnographic research about how people accessing mental health services and practitioners were making use of social networks. I had an inkling that I would have a mixed audience and I knew that not everyone would share my (then*) enthusiasm. As such I spent time preparing a range of compelling examples of digital technologies and social media practices, determined as I was to win over any detractors. I arrived a little early and so listened in to the tail end of an exasperated discussion about the various grinding limitations, obstacles and shortcomings of the in-house electronic patient record (EPR). If my audience’s primary experience of technology in health was such a bad one, then this did not bode well for my presentation – I quickly realised I was going to have to recalibrate. How could I be so naive as to think a conversation about the future potential of digital technologies would be welcomed, when the basics of reliable and effective electronic patient records seemed like a pipe dream? This experience came back to me whilst reading The Digital Doctor – Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age (Wachter, 2015) which is dominated by an expansive analysis of the shortcomings of contemporary electronic patient records. Wachter argues that EPRs have brought many a physician ‘to their knees’ with their clunky, confusing and complex systems (73). It is salutary to note that three years on...
My small act of Facebook solidarity #TheProfileProject #8

My small act of Facebook solidarity #TheProfileProject #8

Alaric tells the story behind his most recent Facebook profile picture: “I have changed my profile picture many times since I came late to Facebook – a curios skeptic determined not to take it too seriously.  I generally use self portraits, and when Facebook urges users to add rainbows or French flag filters to their profiles, I either ignored or signaled my approval of the cause in more personal ways. The most recent such occasion was the Bataclan shootings in Paris. “My response to this event was partly intellectual, mostly personal. I spent a lot of time in Paris in the 1980s, I still have good friends there and I am a Francophile.  More than that, I see Paris as one of the great achievements of post enlightenment Western culture. For all its many faults like the ring of deprived suburbs, the civilized urbanity of Parisienne life is rightly held to be a template of how life can be lived well. That the IS terrorists chose to attack a concert hall and restaurants just made my feeling more visceral; I have worked in many Paris venues as a sound engineer, I have eaten in Paris restaurants and promenaded along her streets in the evenings. “I understand the west’s culpability in fermenting the crisis in the middle east; from France and Britain drawing lines on maps at Versailles, partitioning liberated Arab lands for their own gain, via the shambles of the British Palestine protectorate, French colonization of Syria, the fawning in front of Saudi oil wealth to the illegal invasion of Iraq… and much more.  After the attack the Internet...
“My profile works as a sort of filter” #TheProfileProject #7

“My profile works as a sort of filter” #TheProfileProject #7

@gopaldass AKA Abhay Adhikari tells the story behind his choice of Twitter profile pictures: “At the moment, my Twitter profile picture is of me cycling into the horizon, without a care in the world!  My account is a personal and professional space and my profile picture reflects this. It also serves as a personal reminder that I shouldn’t take myself too seriously and that I should take time to reflect on what others say. So much of social media is reactionary. “My picture changes quite often. Say, every couple of weeks. Every now and then I upload a profile picture that may indicate what I do for a living and where I live. For the most part, my profile picture is a reflection of how I am feeling and whether I want to actively connect with people at that point in time. By not giving it all away, I think my profile works as a sort of filter – engaging people who are curious, open minded and open to a chat. So far this approach as worked as I have met a lot of interesting people (in real life) via social media and this has allowed me to launch Digital Identity projects from Stockholm to Delhi!” You can find out more about #TheProfileProject here and connect on Twitter...
*I was reluctant to expose my visible Muslim-ness* #TheProfileProject #6

*I was reluctant to expose my visible Muslim-ness* #TheProfileProject #6

This is my first anonymous story for #TheProfileProject – sharing a very personal and salient narrative about a Twitter profile picture. I’ve chosen the image of a carnation to draw on the idea that we wear something distinctive when we meet a stranger for the first time. I hope to meet this person ‘in real life’ soon: “There are probably only a handful of active tweeps in my timeline who do not use their face photo as their profile image; and I am one of them. My primary reason is the attempt to remain as anonymous as I possibly can, and to protect my personal privacy as far as possible. This may appear to be a paradox, because I have a public profile (description). However, my full name is a very common one (I personally know four people with the exact full name) and if someone did not know my career path, they would not know it is me! “I also do not want to waste time changing profile pictures every few months; I have a purpose of being on Twitter which is to engage with practitioners in my field, experts and colleagues; and for that purpose I do not see why a “real image” of me is relevant or important. However, I must admit, that when I first started using Twitter, I was hesitant to place a real face photo of myself. This is because I wear a headscarf and I am a very visible Muslim. I am proud to be Muslim; and I know that the vast majority of my followers are not anti-Muslim. But I also have first-hand experience of the...
*I’m hiding behind the screen with my 140 characters* #TheProfileProject #5

*I’m hiding behind the screen with my 140 characters* #TheProfileProject #5

Vic Cutting tells the story behind her Twitter and Facebook profiles: CREATIVE ACTIVITY IS MORE THAN A MERE CULTURAL FRILL, IT IS A CRUCIAL FACTOR OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE, THE MEANS OF SELF-REVELATION, THE BASIS OF EMPATHY WITH OTHERS; IT INSPIRES BOTH INDIVIDUALISM AND RESPONSIBILITY, THE GIVING AND THE SHARING OF EXPERIENCE  Tom Hudson (1979), British Columbia Exhibition of Children’s Art catalogue. “I picked up this post card at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park a few years ago, and all I knew about it was that it had “Cardiff College of Art Foundation Studies: Experimentation with materials 1968” written on the back, from the collection of Tom Hudson. “It was at a time where I was considering retraining as an art therapist and was obsessing about the importance of process art, especially within my work with young people. Tom Hudson’s ideas resonated with me. “I like it as my Twitter photograph, I like that it is a personal image, and intimate, although that’s the opposite of how I feel about twitter. My Facebook profile is full of photos of my kids and funny (to me) thoughts that I want to share with my friends. “My Facebook profile photos are consistently oblique, but that’s because work advise us not to have photographs of ourselves. So it’s interesting to find photos that have personal meaning but don’t show people. I enjoy taking photos, I find it relaxing, a creative activity, going back to the original quote. I liked finding the shadow of me in the leaves, me – yet not me. A leaf yeti. “Twitter is more about politics, work and music for...