The Digitally Engaged Patient

knowledge - sociality - technologies - patienthood 


The conference will take place on June 11th and June 12th 2019.

Keynote speakers: Professor Deborah Lupton and Associate Professor Henriette Langstrup


The Digitally Engaged Patient seminar is convened by: Natasja Kingod, Laura Heinsen, Nete Schwennesen, Ayo Wahlberg, Jieun Lee and Anna Mann with support from the European Research Council and the Velux Foundation.


NEWS: Registration without paper is open until May 1st 2019.  Waiting list activated.


NEW DEADLIINE: Use this page to preliminary sign up for the conference, and submit your abstract no later than March 1st 2019.





In recent decades, there has been a shift from preventing morbid death to the everyday challenges of living with disease, where quality of life indicators, as well as the wellbeing and life satisfaction of individuals and nations, are increasingly mapped out and tabulated. At the same time, while improving the lives of those living with illness is reflected in the objectives of global and national health policies, health care provision throughout the world is suffering from austerity and economic strain. Not least as a consequence, new ICT (information and communication technologies) initiatives are on the global health agenda with an aim to improve productivity and effectiveness, enhance services, and reduce costs on governments. The assumption is that ICTs in healthcare will reduce costs by enabling patients to care for themselves to larger degrees. Yet at the same time, we know that as technologies move from the clinic into the homes and daily lives of people with various health conditions, new obstacles and dilemmas arise due to shifts in tasks and responsibilities which in turn raise questions about good care and the quality of life of patients.


Within this broader move towards ICT-based solutions, we have seen a rapid increase in the number of eHealth and mHealth projects globally. Health-related issues have always been an important part of internet studies, the first of which emerged in the mid-1990s. From these studies we have learned how the first-generation Web 1.0 allowed patients to seek health information through search engines, just as Web 2.0 created new opportunities for seeking and sharing information in interactive ways. New concepts such as health 2.0, eHealth and mHealth were coined as a result. Whereas eHealth covers the use of and enrolment in online forums and communities, blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and Wikis, mHealth defines portable, device-based and mobile access to connect around a common illness diagnosis as well as opportunities for self-tracking, monitoring and even treating disease. With “smart-care” and smart-technologies based on downloaded apps on mobile devices, self-care and monitoring of disease has become available by reaching into the pocket – just one click away for those who have access to smartphones and ICT infrastructures. At the same time, researchers have pointed to the fact that new technologies and digital services not only change the way we communicate, but also offer innovative and creative ways of monitoring health and well-being, albeit for those who choose to engage with them.


This 2-day conference on The Digitally Engaged Patient addresses and challenges the recent transition from eHealth to mHealth and welcomes researchers within the fields of social science and humanities (anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies, cultural studies and the like). We hope the conference can be a venue for critical discussions around good care and quality of life for patients in the 21st century with digitalized technologies for (self-)caring.


We seek papers that engage with eHealth, mHealth, and the digital patient within the following themes, but not limited to:


Chronic living and technology – Embodiment and identity -

Lively data, broken data - Tinkering and creativity – Sociality - Patient knowledge -

Digital methodologies - Aging and Digital Life Course


Word limit: 250

Include paper title and 3-4 keywords

Remember to name your file: Firstname_Lastname_RS1


Notification of acceptance and the possibility of signing up for the conference, will be sent out in the beginning of April 2019.


Department of Anthropology, VITAL - Ă˜ster Farimagsgade 5 - 1353 - Copenhagen K - +45 35334347 -