|HEALTH, THE BODY AND THE e-SOCIETY SYMPOSIUM.
Mike Hardey - e-Society Programme Member
The Health, The Body and the e-Society Colloquium was held at the Grange Hotel, York, on the 18-19 January 2007.
The event began with a presentation from Andrew Webster (University of York) who highlighted the recently published Royal Society's, ‘Digital healthcare: the impact of information and communication’ which he helped to compile. Issues of access to e-health resources were noted and this theme was picked up by Ann Blandford (UCL) who talked about her work on National Electronic Library for Health (NeLH) and the way it was used by different professional and other groups. Marlene Winfield’s (NHS Connecting for Health) discussion of the role of research in NHS Connecting for Health projects was delayed until the following day due the weather.
Friday began with Prof Chris Shilling (University of Southampton) addressing his current research in a session entitled 'The Wellness Deficit. Body Pedagogics, Technology and Health.' He explored the way notions of health are predominantly related to role of the body as an economic resource in the contemporary West and suggested that there existed an increasingly problematic 'wellness deficit' in technological cultures.
The role of academic research and the way it should or could influence government initiatives provided lively ground for debate. More broadly the nature of expertise and relationships between practitioners and users (or do we mean patients – even the labels can be difficult) formed a something of a theme. This was related to conceptualisations of wellness and participants were usefully reminded of the global nature of e-health. Indeed, the internet means that for many people health and wellness information is always global. One of the challenges for researchers is not only to map changes in our conceptualisations of health and illness but to also understand how they shape and impact on the delivery of health care.