Technology and Health Policy in the U.S. and England, 1925-1995

Award Year:
Joel Howell
Aging, Social Determinants of Health
Through the lenses of social history and the sociology of knowledge, Dr. Howell examines the roots of how technology came to dominate the delivery of health care. He includes in his broad definition of technology the knowledge needed to apply it and the systems created for using it. His project explores America's obsession with medical technology and how it has specifically been applied to clinical medicine through the use of such imaging examples as the X-ray and computerized axial tomography (CAT scanners). How organizational innovations (e.g., managing the delivery of care) and computer technology moved from one field to another and with whose help are considered. Dr. Howell also seeks examples of technology transfer from health care to other fields. Comparison of differences in the use of technology in the U.S. and England provides insights into how technology is shaped by the social structure within which it is used.