Multimodal tools and systems form the foundations of our knowledge: the design of the tools, systems, and databases we use everyday form what we know, and how we know it. Electronic health records, quantified health, and diagnostic tools are all ‘technologies’ that co-create meaning and knowledge throughout the medical industrial complex. My work questions the ethics of public health focused on fitness trackers and so-called ‘natural’ disasters rather than systemic bias and racism. I look behind available technologies to the larger historical, cultural, and structural foundations that design our health care in the first place.
wearable technology investigating illness and fitness
For many people with neuromuscular weakness due to Myasthenia Gravis, planning activities around potential and/or actual muscle weakness is time-consuming and emotionally draining. Knowing how the muscles behave with particular activities can inform behavioral modifications that will enhance social and emotional well-being. Using electromyography (EMG) sensors and microcontrollers, myWaldo quantifies and records illness and fitness in relation to neuromuscular diseases that cause generalized weakness in voluntary muscles. By quantifying muscle weakness patterns during daily activities and exercise, an individual can make modifications that will enable them to save energy and muscle strength for when they need it.
Related Conference Presentations / Talks
When Health is not Enough: queer bioethics and quantified bodies
6th International Health Humanities Consortium
Dallas TX, 2017
myWaldo: wearable technology for quantifying and modifying generalized muscle weakness
Biological Rhythms & Technology Workshop,
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Toronto, Canada, 2014
Queer Bioethics for Everyday Medical Technologies
Teaching Health Humanities
ed. Olivia Banner, Nathan Carlin, and Thomas Cole.
Oxford University Press. (January, 2019).
#transform (the underlying systems of digital) health
“Field Guide Survey: Can Digital Humanities change the way we study health and practice medicine?”
January 20, 2018. Online.