Remote monitoring or close encounters?: On priority-setting in home-based health care
2011 (English)In: 25th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care 17 – 20 August, 2011: Priorities in Medicine and Health Care, 2011, 61-62 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
During the last few years, we have seen an avalanche of new technologies for personal health monitoring of patients and elderly people in their homes. A driving force behind this development is the demographic time-bomb, i.e., the substantial demographic shift that is underway in terms of a rapidly growing proportion of elderly in society. Health care decision-makers argue that in order to provide good care to these elderly people it will be increasingly necessary to provide this care at home through personal health monitoring rather than at institutions. This is necessary for reasons of cost and efficiency. Critics maintain, on the other hand, that we must never forget the needs of the patients and the elderly. They may not want a technological invasion of their homes leading to reduced personal contacts with care providers. In this paper, I discuss issues of priority-setting raised by this new development. It appears that four clusters of values are relevant: (1) independence and privacy, (2) health security and safety, (3) social contact with relatives and care providers, and (4) reasonable costs and efficiency. I argue that we should be aware of the variety of preferences of individual care recipients. To some patients and elderly people the independent living made possible by remote monitoring is more important than social contact with care providers, to others social contact is more valuable than independence. We should take the preferences of this latter category seriously. I therefore support an approach that is more sensitive to individual differences than the approach of more generally replacing close encounters by remote monitoring.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. 61-62 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-70150OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-70150DiVA: diva2:436016
25th European Conference on Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care, University of Zurich, Zurich, SwitzerlandD 17 – 20 August, 2011