Consumer Medicine: Philosophical and Ethical Implications (COPE)

Name of applicant

Sara Green


Associate Professor


University of Copenhagen


DKK 4,478,946



Type of grant

Semper Ardens: Accelerate


Consumer Medicine (CM) is gaining momentum through wearables and tests that are marketed directly to consumers with a promise to help users take control of their health. COPE is an empirically informed philosophical analysis of how self-monitoring and self-testing for health optimization impact primary care, and how health is experienced and strived for in a data-intensive society.


Companies and policymakers stress the potential of CM to improve disease prevention, and 33% of Danes expect to share self-monitoring data with their doctor this year. Yet, concerns are raised about the scientific validity of CM and the risk of medicalizing healthy people. There is a need to explore how CM technologies impact experiences of health and expectations of medicine.


Combining methodologies from philosophy of science and medical anthropology, COPE critically analyzes assumptions underlying political and commercial visions of CM, as well as lived experiences of CM in primary care and the everyday lives of users. The COPE project relies on empirical research methodologies, including qualitative interviews, ethnographic observations, and document analysis.

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