Seminar 1 - Technology, Innovation & Diagnosis:

This seminar, organised by Susan Kelly and Michael Morrison from the University of Exeter, deals with the impact of technology on diagnosis. Early technological innovations such as the stethoscope, the scalpel and, later, x-rays did more than provide clinical input for the doctor, they also became powerful symbols of the practice of modern medicine itself. Recent diagnostic technologies such as genetic tests or MRI scans are similarly transformative.  These technologies are progressively redefining the parameters of disease.  They are also shifting how diagnosis and related clinical work takes place, with technological views gaining supremacy over traditional clinical ones, and lay people using technology for self-diagnosis.  As we gain the ability to peer into more and more previously hidden bodily realms, we obscure distinctions between risk of disease and the disease itself.  In this seminar, we will ask questions about the drivers and the consequences of innovations in diagnostic technologies, the degree to which these technologies are used and over-used, what sort of remedial technologies are appropriate, and, perhaps most critically, how technology has affected how disease categories are understood by patients, physicians and the public.

We especially welcome postgraduate and early career researchers to this seminar.