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Digital landscapes of care: The digitalisation of Swedish health care and its significance for older patients in rural areas

Research project The aim of the project is to explore the digital landscape of care constituted by new digital techniques and its significance for the reception of care.

The project studies the meanings of new digital healthcare technology through three empirical cases in which everyday healthcare, health care policy and digital tools (medical apps) are studied, and with a special focus on the care of older people in rural areas. Our cultural approach as well as our ethnographic and digital methods provide perspectives on the digitalisation of health care that differ from the focus on technology and evaluation which dominates the research field. The term “landscape of care” is central to the project. The concept makes visible the cultural topography of digitalised healthcare; how the construction of e-health affects the way patients navigate the fields of healthcare – physically, socially and virtually. It includes opportunities for participation and autonomy, but also feelings of anxiety and dependency. We believe that such landscapes of care are best studied intersectionally, i.e. with sensitivity to how different power-axes work together. In particular, we study how digitalised care interacts with notions of place, age and gender, and how this affects the implications of e-health for patienthood and the reception of care.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2018-01-01 2021-12-31

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Culture and Media Studies

Research subject

Ethnology, Media and communications