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Research into person-centred healthcare technology: a plea for considering humanization dimensions.

Jacobs, G., Zijpp, T. van der, Lieshout, F. van, Dulmen, S. van. Research into person-centred healthcare technology: a plea for considering humanization dimensions. In: B. McCormack, S. van Dulmen, H. Eide, K.I. Skovahl, T. Eide. Person-Centred Healthcare Research. Tom Eide (Eds). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, 2017.
Changes in demographics, financial and time constraints and the on‐going shift towards
greater responsibility for health and illness for the patient, have increased the speed of development of innovative, information and communications technology‐guided solutions and tools within healthcare practices. Telecare technologies, e‐health and smart home developments provide practical solutions for the ‘problems’ of the ageing population, such as the increasing levels of chronic illness and the rising demand for health and social care, as well as the shortage of staff and financial strains on health and welfare budgets (Roberts and Mort, 2009). Technology facilitates communication through email, websites, electronic monitors and webcams to interact with patients, to monitor them, to transmit data and to provide instructions. The hands‐on care of the healthcare provider can be replaced or supplemented by technology: an ‘app’, a ‘tablet’, a website, a computer, or even a robot.
Technology has thus become an inextricable part of today’s healthcare practices. Although these developments are primarily driven by the aim to make healthcare more efficient and effective, they also trigger new and interesting research questions from a person‐centred perspective.