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Living Data: Making sense of health biosensing

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Published
Publication date24/07/2019
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherUniversity of Bristol
Number of pages195
ISBN (Electronic)9781529207538, 9781529207514
ISBN (Print)9781529207507
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Biosensors and biosensing practices collect and share living data, data concerning changes in body states. Health biosensing emerges where devices, health experience, scientific and medical knowledges and online platforms meet around bodies. This book contrasts forms of health biosensing in significant life events ranging from conception to ageing. It explores practicalities, histories and promises of fertility and hormonal biosensing, stress biosensing, DNA genotyping platforms, and old-age biosensing. While the biosensing industries promote promise-horizons of the ‘soon’, ethnographic stories of failure and disappointment abound. ‘Living data’ may be about health for many people, but still happens mostly outside biomedicine or clinical practice. Yet biosensing has the potential to change human bodies and lives in barely imagined ways. This book argues for thinking about biosensing platforms and bodies together, to understand that potential and to recognise harms and limitations.