Private and Public
Here, connected devices can create a stable path keeping the patient more on track and less over-challenged self-managing their illness.
Connecting Care also opens up new payer-empowered multi-layered health care instruments such as monitoring, guidance and control programs as the roadmap for both, an early low risk condition preventive intervention as well as a more efficient and centrally steered illness treatment management.
Naturally, the “Big Brother” scenario also worries users in terms of the innate control potentials of their health devices and with implants a blurring border. Empowerment could arise a “puppet on a string” feel and a friction of how to come to terms with being both, an autonomous remote-driven individual.
The psychology of basic object relationship dynamics
Just like toys as real companions in childhood, connected healthcare devices can become accompanying, liked daily life companions (e.g. like smartphones). Esp. if they hold a credible caring function overseeing staying in a secure health corridor (e.g. like parents’ ensuring background presence with a child). This freedom by being cared for is paramount to compliance and resulting also to reduced costs.
Depending on the device’s interaction design and sensual features, patients can experience a device like a controlling intruder or like a life insuring guard reassuring things are stable and safe.
The relationship patterns patients establish with their devices are a key factor. Devices can function in meaningful human-like way. They can be perceived and felt as looking after you: remind you, care for you, warn you, safe you. And they can be fun to use turning inner body processes into cool information graphics and easy use technology.
Emotional bonding and behavioral partnering present a tremendous opportunity to motivate individuals. Their interactive “game”-type response behavior can become self-driven, engaging and most of all not scary and threatening. So, illness “management” as a daily and ongoing experience needs to model the relationship into a role-playing one where the device acts as a tool extending the authority of the person, it can act as a dialogue partner, a companion, a tutor and coach, or more like with the all-surrounding and ever present safe-guarding “shepherd” that once was the parents’ reassurance for feeling safe and free to grow into new things.