Wearable Medical Devices in Use: A Study of Insulin Pump Adoption by Young Diabetic Patients In Saudi Arabia
his research belongs to the multi-disciplinary research community concerned with wearable medical technology and branches of sociology and psychology that study its impact. It addresses a real-life problem of Insulin Pump (IP) adoption by Children. This is important for Saudi Arabia, since it is among the top five countries in the world with the highest rate of diabetes. Theories of reasoned action (TRA), technology acceptance model (TAM) and health belief models (HBM) for some of the cases predict that the perception of benefits is the main motivator for the proper use of the technology. This is often not realised in practice, because the main theoretical focus is on the benefits of IP, specifically in the pre-adoption phase. In contrast, this research project is focused on the reasons why some diabetic children patients misuse the IP in spite of the initial perception of its benefits. To find answers to this research question, an empirical study of adoption of IP by children and young adults in Saudi Arabia was carried out. A novel analytical framework was developed in this study in order to unify different perspectives and expectations of the benefits of the IP for a diabetic child and young adult. The analytic framework is applied using empirical study of diabetic children struggling with the IP in the course of the adoption process, with main emphasis on the post-adoption phase. Research methods were predominantly qualitative, involving in-depth interviews and case studies. In the discovery phase, data was collected through interviews of medical personnel and case studies with children and their parents. The analysis was focused on different interactions between medical personnel, patients and their caregivers, the discourses among them in order to explicate the contradictions between them. The main findings are that contradictions show different expectations between the different actors. The medical personnel used medical reasons, whereas the caregiver focus on emotional aspects. However, the diabetic child was concerned with the life-style changes that the use of the IP caused. The different motivations create misunderstandings and result in resistance towards the IP. Age-related and culture-specific factors were also considered, but further research is needed to ensure that the findings can be generalised to other devices, age-groups, cultures and different social contexts. Such studies would also refine the analytical framework and enrich research methodology to make generalisations possible.
- PhD