Telecare and Self-Management: Opportunity to Change the Paradigm?
Journal of Medical Ethics 2009 November; 35(11): 688-691
Telecare, the provision of care through remote interaction enabled by information and communication technology, is quickly developing. Integration with other technological developments is to be expected and will create systems that enable more intense, continuous and unobtrusive monitoring of health, and more personalized feedback and instructions. One of the goals of telecare is enhancing the independence and self-management of patients. In this article three degrees of self-management are described and a distinction is made between compliant and concordant forms of self-management. It is argued that telecare merely promotes forms of self-management in which compliance to medical instructions is central. Technological developments and normative policy considerations may enforce this trend to implement an interpretation of self-management in which compliance to a strict medical regime is prominent. Against this, a plea is made for developing telecare systems that incorporate concordant and collaborative forms of self-management, in which the patient's own perspective is empowered.
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