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Privacy, boundaries and smart homes for health: an ethnographic study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalHealth and Place
Early online date9 Feb 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 26 Jan 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 9 Feb 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2018


This article explores how people negotiate borders and boundaries within the home, in the context of health and the introduction of new technologies. We draw on an ethnographic study involving a socially diverse group of people, which included people with experience of telecare or smart home energy systems. Participants engaged in various strategies to regulate the borders of their home, even though new technologies have begun to change the nature of these borders. Participants managed health conditions but also their use of technology through boundary work that permitted devices to be more or less visible and integrated within the home. Findings highlight that if smart healthcare technologies are to be accepted in the home then there is a need for mechanisms that allow people to control the interpretation of data and flow of information generated about them and their households.

    Structured keywords

  • Digital Health

    Research areas

  • Borders, Smart home, Ethnography, Privacy, Boundary work

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    Rights statement: This is the final published version of the article (version of record). It first appeared online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Final published version, 230 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY


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