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Traveling Technologies - And Transformations in Health Care

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The ‘health society’ is a mainstream reality Kickbusch (2007) argues: “Health,as we understand it and live it today, is not only an outcome of other socialand economic developments but a significant defining factor” (ibid: 144).Indeed, it seems difficult to disagree on the general relevance of health to theconstitutive dynamics of contemporary societies and organizations. Plenty ofpolicies, politics and programs preoccupied with the health of the worker, thepatient, the children, the old or society at large are being launched. Thesuccess of these programs is related to their geographical spread. If a healthcare program does not leave the desk where it first saw light, its chances ofinfluencing those it would like bear down on is bound to be minimal. For ahealth care program to have an effect it must be able to travel or movebetween practices. Some health care programs successfully accomplish thistask. They come to be widely adopted, apparently having global relevance, asfor example the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which has beenadopted by countries as diverse as Japan, Australia and Denmark. But howdoes this happen and which effects does traveling have on a health careprogram and its place of arrival? This question is the starting point for thefollowing text.In this introduction I start out introducing my approach to health careprograms as traveling technologies. Then I very briefly introduce the reader tothe two health care programs, Joint Health Plans and the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, which have served as case studies for the thesis. Finally, Ioutline the content of the thesis chapter by chapter.

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Annegrete Juul Nielsen

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