Diabetes & its Complications

Open Access ISSN: 2639-9326


Self-tracking As an Act of Self-Care and Its Implications for Patient-Agency: A Designer’s Point of View

Authors: Julia Jacoby.

The use of mobile applications (apps) to support self-management of diabetes in daily life has been widely adapted among Norwegian diabetics. Among other aspects, the increasing numbers of people with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, an increased focus on self-care, and the proliferation of small and easy-to-use measuring devices, smartphone applications, and social networking platforms available to people have made self-tracking as in connection to self-management a focal point of diabetes research. Especially in the Norwegian context, where smartphones and internet access have become ubiquitous. It has become relatively easy today to produce and share personal health information, which only a few years ago seemed unimaginable.

Consumer health technologies have transformed the self-management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes. This paper explores self-tracking as an act of self-care and its implications on patient agency, considering the question of whether self-tracking leads to increased patient agency. The focus is also on the consequences of big tech and pharma companies collecting personal health data and if this might be counteractive to patient agency. The article is part of a larger research effort investigating the impact of design on the experience of diabetes in daily life.

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