Collisions in Patient Education: Surveillance, Medical Devices, and Communication
Krista Kennedy is fascinated by the ways that humans work closely with technologies and the rhetorical implications of policies and laws that shape that work. Her experience as a deaf academic informs her current project, which examines intersections of deafness, artificial intelligence, passing, and ethics of medical data collection. Kennedy is Associate Professor of Writing & Rhetoric at Syracuse University, PI of the Disability, Data, and Surveillance Project, affiliated with SU’s Autonomous Systems Policy Institute, and, for the 2020-21 year, NEH Visiting Professor of Writing & Rhetoric at Colgate University. She teaches courses on information design, cultural history of robotics, rhetorics of technology, and professional and technical writing.
Noah Wilson is curious about the ways technologies shape our rhetorical actions, particularly how we make connections with other people. He is currently a PhD candidate in Syracuse University’s Composition and Cultural Rhetoric program and a Visiting Instructor of Writing & Rhetoric at Colgate University where he teaches first year writing, rhetorical history and theory, and surveillance rhetorics. His dissertation addresses recent trends in social media content recommendation algorithms that have led to increased political polarization in the United States and the proliferation of radicalizing conspiracy theories such as Qanon and Pizzagate.
In this episode of Room 42 we discuss the Disability, Data, and Surveillance Project, a joint project of researchers at Syracuse University and Loyola University Chicago, and the results of our ongoing study of algorithmic data collection in compulsory medical wearables.
Device manufacturers and other high-tech companies increasingly incorporate algorithmic data surveillance in next-gen medical wearables. These devices, including smart hearing aids, leverage patient data created through human-computer interaction to not only power devices but also increase corporate profit.
Although US and EU data protection laws establish privacy requirements for personal information and use, these companies continue to legally rely on patients’ personal information with little notice or education, significantly curtailing the agency of wearers. Join us to learn more about the complexities of algorithmic ecologies in medical wearables and navigating data surveillance disclosure in patient education materials.
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