This book draws on medical sociology and science and technology studies to develop a novel conceptual framework for understanding innovation processes, using the case study of deep brain stimulation in paediatric neurology. It addresses key questions, including: How are promising and potentially disruptive new health technologies integrated into busy resource-constrained clinical contexts? What activities are involved in establishing a new clinical service? How do social and cultural forces shape these services, and importantly, how are understandings of 'health' and 'illness' reconfigured in the process? The book explores how the ideals of patient-centred medicine influence innovation in the clinic, and it introduces the concept of patient-centred proto-platforms. It argues that patient-centred innovation can constitute an expansion of medical power, as the clinical gaze is directed not only towards the body but also towards the patient as a social being. This will be an innovative and insightful read for academics and advanced students, as well as health service researchers with an interest in technology adoption processes.
John Gardner is a Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. His research is situated in medical sociology and science and technology studies, and he has published widely on neurostimulation, regenerative medicine, and innovation.
1.Introduction: where great need meets great uncertainty.- 2. Understanding innovation & the problem of technology adoption.- 3. A history of deep brain stimulation.- 4. Multidisciplinary teamwork.- 5. Body work & space.- 6. Managing expectations, aligning futures.- 7. Measuring clinical outcomes.- 8. Towards patient-centred platforms.