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Open AccessArticle

Visions of Illness, Disease, and Sickness in Mobile Health Applications

Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Problemveien 7, 0315 Oslo, Norway
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Societies 2017, 7(4), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc7040028
Received: 18 June 2017 / Revised: 21 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
Popular media and public health care discourses describe an increasing number of mobile health technologies. These applications tend to be presented as a means of achieving patient empowerment, patient-centered care, and cost-reduction in public health care. Few of these accounts examine the health perspectives informing these technologies or the practices of the users of mobile health applications and the kind of data they collect. This article proposes a critical approach to analyzing digital health technologies based on different visions of disease, namely disease, illness, and sickness. The proposed analytical classification system is applied to a set of “mobile health solutions” presented by the Norwegian Technology Council and juxtaposed with the reported use and non-use of several mobile health applications among young patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The discussion shows how visions on health and disease can affect a patient’s embodied experiences of a physical condition, and, secondly, illustrates how the particular vision inscribed in a mobile health technology can be negotiated to include the patient’s vision. View Full-Text
Keywords: empowerment; vision; mediation empowerment; vision; mediation
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Sommervold, M.M.; Van der Velden, M. Visions of Illness, Disease, and Sickness in Mobile Health Applications. Societies 2017, 7, 28.

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