A Qualitative Study About Users Becoming Non-users

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Toni Joseph Abboud
4. term, Techno-Anthropology, Master (Master Programme)
Background: Telecare technologies have throughout the years been implemented in different settings and are now a huge part of the healthcare system. This project investigates how technology can mediate the experience of pacemaker patients, thus understanding the relation between humans, technology and the world.

Methods: This master thesis was made in collaboration with the company Rehfeld Medical, which develops an app for pacemaker patients. The study was conducted with the appliance of ethnographic interviews. I conducted 17 interviews with non-users of the app from February 2019 until June 2019. The purpose of using the semi structured interviews was to gain a patient insight of how the relation to technology has mediated the experience to the hospital. By applying ethnographic methods I produced insights into how the relation of the technology was mediated through the patient experience.

Results: The study shows that the technology was experienced in different ways, depending on individual experiences with the app. The usage of Don Ihde and Peter-Paul Verbeek's mediation theory aided to the understanding of the relations between the patients, the technology and the hospital. Furthermore, the results also indicate that some of those relations were problematic. As a result of these indications I have developed the outset of a new theory called problematic mediation.

I conclude that the technology is mediating different experiences for the patients, and help shaping the relation between the individual patient and the hospital. In addition I conclude that these relations can be problematic which affects the perception of the hospital by the patients. As the perception changes the patients start becoming non-users of the technology this results in a non-existing interaction.
Publication date7 Jun 2019
Number of pages56
External collaboratorRehfeld Medical
CEO Jonas Moll jonas@rehfeldmedical.com
Place of Internship
ID: 305286660