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From Electronic Health Records to Mindful Cyborgs: How Expectations Shape Markets (An Abstract)

Geiger, Susi and Gross, Nicole (2017) From Electronic Health Records to Mindful Cyborgs: How Expectations Shape Markets (An Abstract). Creating Marketing Magic and Innovative Future Marketing Trends. Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science. pp. 325-326.

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In the not so distant future, if you wish to see a doctor, you’ll either “Uber” one and your nearest on-demand healthcare provider will be at your doorstep within 15 min or else you’ll book a videoconference with a virtual doctor who will carry out a remote consultation with the help of a full 24/7 record of your vital signs. These will be captured through one or several wearable sensors and a couple of handheld “Robodoc” consumer devices. Welcome to the brave new world of consumer-driven healthcare! Of course, we have seen this movie many times before. As set of technologies—nano, geno, driverless cars, the Internet of Things—comes out of its early developmental closet, technology pilots signal as-of-yet hard to measure future potential, investors glimpse a gold rush of opportunities, the media and industry analysts get involved, and a new hype curve is born (Brown and Michael 2003). Most likely, the technologies in question are first-phase evangelized and vilified in equal measures before being absorbed into our daily life and into existing markets in small, palatable steps that seem curiously less dramatic than the discourse that has surrounded these technologies at the beginning of their public lifecycle. However, as marketing researchers, we do not have much insight into the process through which a technology innovation hype is translated into a fully operational market. Most of the diffusion models that marketing researchers use are derivatives of Rogers’ (1962) diffusion of innovation curve. Yet, Rogers’ model and subsequent research in marketing has failed to accommodate how markets are actively and often painstakingly constructed, both in a socio-cognitive and material sense, by multiple, diverse, and often competing stakeholders.

Research in the sociology of expectations has over the past decade considered the development and trajectory of expectations and hype surrounding technological innovations, and in the context of marketing, an emerging literature has started to marry its arguments with the vocabulary and frameworks of market studies. This recent research has made first inroads in investigating the role of hype, promise, or expectations on the development of markets and market spaces (Geiger and Finch 2016; Araujo et al. 2014; Beckert 2013). The current paper follows this early trajectory to trace how expectations around new technologies act to shape future markets and market practices. We do so by concentrating on one specific market that is currently in its “gold rush” phase, as measured by growth and venture capital investments: digital healthcare. Discourse analysis reveals how market actors shape the digital healthcare hype with shifting promises and expectations and how they lead to tangible market practices. We map the online interest in digital health on the one hand and relevant patents filed between from the period 2005–2015 on the other and cross-reference these data sources with a body of 462 publicly accessible texts around digital health technologies and markets across newspapers, internet sources, and public policy documents. Our aim is to trace the content of the discourse, the promises made and warnings sounded, who contributes to the hype, and its effects on the shaping of the digital healthcare landscape, measured as filed patents over time. Our paper contributes to technology marketers’ understanding of how technology markets and hypes are shaped and how they can position themselves in these markets to best effect.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing > Consumer Behaviour
R Medicine > Healthcare Industry
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing
Divisions: School of Business > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2019 09:36
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2023 14:04

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