Fatemeh Mohammadi is a graduate of Carleton University’s doctoral program in Anthropology. Her research focus is on medical anthropology, youth culture and minorities. She is joining the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University as a Mitacs postdoctoral scholar. She will be working under the supervision of Dr. Donna Patrick on a research project titled ‘Addressing Barriers and Challenges in the Use of Wearable Medical Devices by Ontario Seniors.’ The research project aims to bring an anthropological perspective to a real-world problem: Why do seniors choose to wear or not to wear a medical device which tracks their vital signs with the aim of improving their health? The question is not strictly a medical issue, rather the motivations behind deciding to wear or not to wear a medical device regardless of the health benefits is a matter which can be investigated by social scientists. The aim of the project is to understand how wearable medical devices can be improved to become user friendly both in terms of hardware and application.
Most studies on users’ understanding, preferences and resistance regarding wearable medical devices have investigated these non-medical issues by medical professionals. In fact, there are very few studies on wearable medical devices by social scientists which examine how these wearables are understood, interpreted and utilized by the users and how this affects their conception of health and illness. This points to a gap in knowledge which this study aims to fill. This new knowledge can in turn help adopt policies and practices to design medical devices that are better suited to different age groups.
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