1st Edition

Health Technology Development and Use From Practice-Bound Imagination to Evolving Impacts

By Sampsa Hyysalo Copyright 2010
    320 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    354 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    How do development and use of new technology relate? How can users contribute to innovation? This volume is the first to study these questions by following particular technologies over several product launches in detail. It examines the emergence of inventive ideas about future technology and uses, how these are developed into products and embedded in health care practices, and how the form and impact of these technologies then evolves through several rounds of design and deployment across different types of organizations.

    Examining these processes through three case studies of health care innovations, these studies reveal a blind spot in extant research on development-use relations. The majority of studies have examined shorter ‘episodes’: moments within particular design projects, implementation processes, usability evaluations, and human-machine interactions. Studies with longer time-frames have resorted to a relatively coarse ‘grain-size’ of analysis and hence lost sight of how the interchange is actually done. As a result there are no social science, information systems, or management texts which comprehensively or adequately address:

    • how different moments, sites and modes of shaping new technology determine the evolution of new technology;

    • the detailed mechanisms of learning, interaction, and domination between different actors and technology during these drawn out processes; and

    • the relationship of technology projects and the professional practices and social imaginations that are associated in technology development, evaluation, and usage.

    The "biographies of technologies and practices" approach to new technology advanced in this volume offers us urgent new insight to core empirical and theoretical questions about how and where development projects gain their representations of future use and users, how usage is actually designed, how users’ requests and modifications affect designs, and what kind of learning takes place between developers and users in different phases of innovation—all crucial to our understanding and ability to advance new health technology, and innovation more generally.

    Part 1: Design–Use Relations and Biographies of Technology  1. From Markets to Social Learning: Mapping the Dynamics of Design, Use, and Early Evolution of New Technology  2. Biography of Technologies and Practices: Studying Technology across Time and Space  Part 2: Grounding and Theorizing  3. The Birth of the User: Community and Imagination  4. The Anticipation of Need: Investigations and Intermediaries  5. Visions in Matter: Invention and Erosion  6. Nurturing Technology: Enactment and Impact  7. The Post-launch Change: Learning and Reconfiguring  Part 3: Comparisons and Implications  8. Diabetes Databases: Co-design, Its Evolution, and Power Relations  9. TeleChemistry: Radical Innovation, Deviance, and Path Formation  10. Conclusions: Findings and Theorizing  11. Implications: Policy, Evaluation, and Development Practice


    Sampsa Hyysalo is a Fellow in Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and a Docent in Work Informatics in University of Turku. His work explores the relations of design and use in the development of new technologies. He has published over twenty articles on the topic.

    'This book promises to be an important scholarly contribution to the social analysis of technology. I would recommend the book to anyone wishing to understand the evolution of a technology, and especially how the relations between designers and users play a role in that shaping process.' - Neil Pollock, University of Edinburgh, UK

    'This groundbreaking work traces the complex relationship between designers, developers and users in the biography of technical artifacts – anyone interested in the nature and process of technical innovation will find much to meditate on and much to apply.' Geoffrey C. Bowker, Santa Clara University, USA