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What can the history of old technologies like the telephone and the television teach us about the future of telemedicine? Today's digital telehealth devices are far more sophisticated than older analog modes of communication, and can carry more detailed vital information. But the ethical questions of consent, equity, politics, and justice that new media raise can be found in debates that took place when these old technologies were new.
This lecture reframes current debates over the promise and perils of telemedicine by examining the continuity - and change - in the successive ethical challenges posed by a series of older ‘new media’ in medicine from the late 19th century to the present.
Jeremy A Greene is Associate Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine and the Elizabeth Treide and A McGehee Harvey Chair in the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His two books, Prescribing by Numbers: Drugs and the Definition of Disease and Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine focus on the unanticipated roles that new technologies play in the definition and management of health and disease.