Mobile health and its problems: the case of hearing and communication apps

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter unpacks the “problems” that mobile health apps set out to address. Much of mHealth presents health as a problem of individual biomedical deficits that can be tackled through better information, more effective communication with practitioners, greater compliance with medication – broadly more effective self-monitoring and self-management. This way of presenting health problems largely sidelines the social, environmental, and economic determinants of health. Many companies, although by no means all, frame and market hearing and communication apps in similar ways. Apps that screen or rehabilitate hearing generally accept a biomedical frame. Some others, such as decibel meters apps, acknowledge the potentially hazardous impact of toxic environments – especially loud noise – in producing bodily damage. Usually, however, individual app users are presented as responsible for identifying those hazards and addressing them. In the case of apps that monitor the length of time headphones are worn and the volume of the music played on them, the user is also understood as the unwitting instigator of hearing damage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge handbook of health and media
EditorsLester D. Friedman, Therese Jones
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Chapter27
Pages390-400
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781000622362, 9781003007661
ISBN (Print)9780367441081, 9781032309484
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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