An interesting thing about Lupton’s article is how it introduces the topic of mobile health (mhealth) technologies and how it can be used by lay people apart from professionals for voluntary self-tracking strategies also known as “quantified self” (Lupton, 394). The author goes further to correlate the adoption of these technologies with some cultural and social meanings of self-tracking practices and their contributions to the concepts of identity, embodiment, and health
An important aspect about Lupton’s article is the explanation of how mhealth technologies allow for the surveillance of spatial, temporal, and interpersonal nature of users. These devices are used to gather health-related data when logged on to any relevant app (Lupton, 395). The author demonstrates how such technologies are useful in measuring and monitoring health-related habits of not only the user but also that of public health workers and health care. It also helps us understand the cultural and social implications related to the health promotion practice including perceptions on the targets of mhealth campaigns in the practice of biometric data self-tracking.
A confusing aspect about Lupton’s article is the comparison of the usage of mhealth to other enhancement technologies such as the usage of pharmaceuticals like Viagra, cosmetic surgery or neuro-chemicals that are applied to correct deficits in body appearance or functioning (Lupton 396). The author portrays mhealth as an enhancement technology when used for health-related purposes. However, some of these technologies are used to enhance beauty while others are used for good health. Terming mhealth as enhancement technology causes some confusion with regards to the purpose with which it was designed.
The reading contrasts from the article “Mutant ecologies: Radioactive life in post–cold war New Mexico; The Nuclear Borderlands,” in that whereas it talks about technological advancements in the area of health promotion, the other deals with the destruction or damage caused by nuclear radiation to the human body (Masco). The themes contained in these two articles are complete opposites.
Lupton, D. Quantifying the body: monitoring and measuring health in the age of mHealth
technologies. Critical Public Health, Vol. 23, No. 4, 393–403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2013.794931. 2013.
Masco, J.. Mutant ecologies: Radioactive life in post–cold war New Mexico; The Nuclear
Borderlands, 2006, pp. 285-327, doi:10.1515/9781400849680-009.