The person as an object of health monitoring has become a profound form of social recognition in contemporary Britain. Indeed, digital health technologies – from computer programmes to mobile apps and wearable tracking devices – have placed self-monitoring at the heart of their vision of ‘health’. Some form of self-surveillance is now integral to the design and operation of the digital products that have become part of many people’s daily health regimen. This postdoctoral project explores the digitalisation of health in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in Britain, through fieldwork with users of ‘wellbeing’ and ‘fitness’ apps. One of the tasks of this research is to shed ethnographic light on the ways in which people committed to particular health goods come to engage in digital self-monitoring and the ethical implications of such engagements.


About the Anthropologist

Dr Mikkel Kenni Bruun is a Research Associate in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London.

Kenni holds a Ph.D in Social Anthropology from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. Based on fieldwork with mental health professionals in England, his doctoral research examined the NHS mental health service of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). It explored the practice of ‘evidence-based’ psychotherapy and the scientific persuasions that have shaped it. Before joining SAMCOM, he held a teaching position at Cambridge.

His current research explores health surveillance in Britain focussing on the use of digital technologies, such as mobile apps and trackers that seek to optimise individual wellbeing and fitness through self-monitoring.

His staff profile is available here.


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