Digital Health and Self-Tracking in Turkey: Between Empowerment and New Barriers

The Orient-Institut Istanbul (in particular the research field “Human, Medicine and Society” led by Dr. Melike Şahinol) is collaborating as research partner on the research project “Digital Health Data between Empowerment and New Barriers” (original title: “Digitale Vulnerabilität zwischen Inklusion und sozialer Robustheit. Diversitätssensitive und risikoethische Abschätzung digitaler Selbstvermessung”) submitted by Prof. Dr. Stefan Selke at the University of Applied Sciences Furtwangen and approved at the end of 2017 by the Federal Ministry of Health.

About the project
The project investigates practices and technologies of digital self-measurement (i.e. health devices and apps, e.g. health tracking apps, robotic walking aids, wearables) and how these are embedded in social processes. The focus is on the social, ethical, and cultural dimensions of those health devices. The current trend is characterized by the fact that these applications should motivate users to work independently, preventively, and actively on the positive development of their own health and lifestyle via practices of self-quantification. However, such forms of health self-management and monitoring may entail new forms of discrimination against vulnerable groups, for example people with chronic diseases or children.

Based on it’s expertise in Turkey, the Orient-Institut Istanbul will focus in particular on  the different normative frameworks of digital self-measurement in Turkey and the ethical criteria derived from an intercultural perspective. The question of under which circumstances self and voluntarily collected digital data become a social stratifying good and which individual and societal effects are associated with it, is particularly relevant.

Related publications:
Şahinol, M. & Başkavak G. (2020). Türkiye’de Biyomedikalizasyon: Sağlığın Dijitalleşmesi ve Öz-Takip Pratikleri. In Turanlı, A.; Şahinol, M. & Aydınoğlu, A.U. (ed.) Türkiye’de STS: Bilim ve Teknoloji Çalışmalarına Giriş. Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi Vakfı Yayınları (forthcoming)

Related posts:

İnsan, Tıp ve Toplum alanındaki “E-sağlık: Türkiye’de Öz-Takip Cihazlarının Pratikleri ve Sosyo-Kültürel Boyutları” başlıklı proje tamamlandı

Research Associate position at the Orient-Institut Istanbul – Digital Health and Self-Tracking in Turkey

Enhancement und Vulnerabilität. Die Befragung von Kindern mit Prothesen aus dem 3D Drucker

Related presentations:

September 11, 2019: Türkiye’de E-Sağlık ve Öz-Takip Teknolojileri with Gülşah Başkavak (Orient-Institut İstanbul), STS TURKEY 2019 conference 10-12 September 2019, Istanbul Technical University

April 18, 2018: Enhancement und Vulnerabilität. Die Befragung von Kindern mit Prothesen aus dem 3D-Drucker, Kick-Off Meeting „Digitale Selbstvermessung zwischen Empowerment und neuen Barrieren“ of the project “Digitale Vulnerabilität zwischen Inklusion und sozialer Robustheit”, Hochschule Furtwangen University & Schrader Stiftung (Darmstadt, Germany)