Alex Faulkner (auth.)'s Medical Technology into Healthcare and Society: A Sociology PDF

By Alex Faulkner (auth.)

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Extra info for Medical Technology into Healthcare and Society: A Sociology of Devices, Innovation and Governance

Sample text

Promoted as a ‘cure’ for profoundly deaf people, especially children, activists from deaf communities have mobilised in many countries in order to resist the social diffusion of the device. What might be called the ‘users-as-designers’ approach, taken to its logical extreme, results in an analysis that collapses the ‘artificial divide between design and use’ (Oudshoorn and Pinch, 2003). While the divide between design and use may be artificial if one is attempting to produce a general theory of agency in technology innovation, obscuring as it may do interactions between end-users and design processes, to jettison the distinction entirely may be counterproductive.

2001). The social shaping, co-construction/technology-in-practice and ‘usership’-based approaches described above can be summarised as all depending on an actor or agency-based conception of society and the material world. As noted in the discussion on the social construction of technology, there is overall, in these approaches, a lack of study of the political and economic structure when it comes to Science & Technology Studies (STS) investigation of medical device technologies. Analysis of structural matters of political and industrial economy has been largely absent, not wholly surprisingly, given medical sociology’s traditional focus on the medical consultation and interaction between patients and medical professionals.

Large US and German multinational conglomerates tend to dominate the UK market, with a considerable number of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) specialising in niche or ‘boutique’ equipment also having a significant presence. Device innovation process The medical technology industry structure contrasts with pharmaceuticals in that the majority of technological innovation occurs among SME companies. Major device companies frequently acquire early stage companies once a business model for their technologies has been stabilised.

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