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science and technology studies

Being on standby: On maintenance work in chronic disease management

Introduction

Since the proliferation of portable meters and insulin pumps in the 1980s, an intimate relation with battery-powered technologies has been a key feature of living with type 1 diabetes, as poignantly described by a patient on Twitter: ‘My pancreas runs on AAA batteries’ (DSC Community, 2016). But over the last decade the technologisation of diabetic care has intensified and daily treatment is now woven into a complex web of digital technologies. New smart devices continuously record glucose levels and automatically transmit them to a monitoring device.

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