In this presentation, I will discuss the findings from a range of recent studies I have conducted on how Australians are using digital health technologies. As a sociologist, I explore the sociocultural dimensions of digital health use, including the capacities that are opened or closed when people engage with these technologies. As I show, there are many benefits people gain from digital health, but there are also frustrations, lack of interest, examples of poor design and usability, and potential harms, including challenges to people’s personal data privacy and security. While opportunities for digital self-tracking, health-related peer support and information exchange online are highly valued, Australians also continue to prefer face-to-face encounters in some situations.
About Professor Deborah Lupton
Deborah Lupton is SHARP Professor in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW Sydney, working in the Centre for Social Research in Health and the Social Policy Research Centre and leading the Vitalities Lab. She is the author/co-author of 17 books, the latest of which are Digital Sociology (Routledge, 2015), The Quantified Self (Polity, 2016), Digital Health (Routledge, 2017), Fat, 2nd edition (Routledge, 2018) and Data Selves (Polity, 2019). She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and holds an Honorary Doctor of Social Science degree awarded by the University of Copenhagen.