Health Technology Development and Use
How do development and use of new technology relate? How can users contribute to innovation? This volume is the first to study these questions by following particular technologies over several product launches in detail. It examines the emergence of inventive ideas about future technology and uses, how these are developed into products and embedded in health care practices, and how the form and impact of these technologies then evolves through several rounds of design and deployment across different types of organizations.
Examining these processes through three case studies of health care innovations, these studies reveal a blind spot in extant research on development-use relations. The majority of studies have examined shorter ‘episodes’: moments within particular design projects, implementation processes, usability evaluations, and human-machine interactions. Studies with longer time-frames have resorted to a relatively coarse ‘grain-size’ of analysis and hence lost sight of how the interchange is actually done. As a result there are no social science, information systems, or management texts which comprehensively or adequately address:
• how different moments, sites and modes of shaping new technology determine the evolution of new technology;
• the detailed mechanisms of learning, interaction, and domination between different actors and technology during these drawn out processes; and
• the relationship of technology projects and the professional practices and social imaginations that are associated in technology development, evaluation, and usage.
The "biographies of technologies and practices" approach to new technology advanced in this volume offers us urgent new insight to core empirical and theoretical questions about how and where development projects gain their representations of future use and users, how usage is actually designed, how users’ requests and modifications affect designs, and what kind of learning takes place between developers and users in different phases of innovation—all crucial to our understanding and ability to advance new health technology, and innovation more generally.