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By Jeannette Pols

Often the change to telecare—technology used to assist caretakers offer therapy to their sufferers off-site—is portrayed as both a nightmare state of affairs or a far wanted panacea for all our healthcare woes. This greatly researched research probes what occurs while applied sciences are used to supply healthcare at a distance. Drawing on ethnographic reviews of either sufferers and nurses inquisitive about telecare, Jeannette Pols demonstrates  that rather than leading to much less in depth take care of sufferers, there's as an alternative a fabulous upward push within the frequency of touch among nursing employees and their sufferers. Care at a Distance takes the theoretical framework of telecare and offers difficult facts approximately those cutting edge care practices, whereas generating a correct portrayal of the professionals and cons of telecare.

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Care at a distance : on the closeness of technology

Usually the change to telecare—technology used to assist caretakers supply therapy to their sufferers off-site—is portrayed as both a nightmare situation or a far wanted panacea for all our healthcare woes. This greatly researched learn probes what occurs while applied sciences are used to supply healthcare at a distance.

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There is also a consensus that some patients need home visits to ‘sniff out’ neglected households, which would signify trouble with the patient’s condition. One specialist insists on personally meeting very ill patients: Cardiologist: Especially the very ill, you need to see them in person and get to know them. Individual circumstances make all the difference. ‘Shortness of breath’ may not mean much for one patient, but it may be a very severe symptom for the next. When you see patients face-to-face, you can see a lot, things that would escape you even if you have a webcam.

They insisted that signs and symptoms were only relevant if they fitted the patient’s specific situation. The conflict between general advice and individual situations became clear when Maartje Schermer and I11 interviewed 83-year-old Mrs Smit, who did not see the point of taking physical exercise even though the white box told her that she should. When the white box asked if she had exercised, she answered ‘no’. This sent an alert to the nurses’ office, which the nurses followed up. When they called, Mrs Smit explained that at her age she did not feel like exercising.

In this chapter I hope to show that fitting is not a mere matching of people (or people and devices) but is situated in practices that include other devices, bodies, ideas about the world and – the focus of this chapter – norms that define good care. For instance, in the aesthetics of palliative care for people with incurable cancer, far more professional care is deemed fitting than, say, in the care for people with COPD or heart failure. The latter demands – and deems appropriate – more activity and initiative from patients.

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