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Do-It-Yourself Medical Devices: Exploring Their Potential Futures Through Design Fiction

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Abstract

With ever increasing demands on healthcare around the world, ensuring adequate provision for patients is becoming more and more challenging. In this paper, we focus on future healthcare provision, specifically looking at how Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Medical Devices might become widely adopted. Our motivation is to move beyond current debates, which tend to focus on technological capabilities, and instead consider the implications of those technologies for future policy and regulation. Discussions around the future are often challenging, as people find it difficult to
envisage how disruptive technologies make futures that stand apart from their current and previous experiences. To facilitate these discussions, we use Design Fiction to speculate about a multi-purpose DIY Medical Device which can support various medical conditions. Using Design Fiction in this way allows us to concretize and explore a future world in which DIY Medical Devices exist, and thus enable meaningful discussions around the social and ethical implications of such DIY medical cultures.