Jeremy Greene

The Doctor Who Wasn’t There: Technology, History, and the Limits of Telehealth

We welcome you to join us virtually (via Zoom) for a special March Seminar jointly hosted by eWEAR and the Stanford Center for Digital Health.

Date: Monday, March 13th from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm PDT

Location: Zoom

Registration: Please click here to register

The Wireless Body, Revisited:  Past Futures of Physiological Broadcasting”

Jeremy Greene

Jeremy Greene, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine and History of Medicine, Institute of the History of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University

Abstract: The Holter monitor, a portable box that has broadcasted the electrical activity of human hearts for nearly 75 years, has become such a common object in clinical medicine that few pause to consider its origins. Indeed, as a succession of newer Wi-Fi– and Cloud-enabled devices, smartphone apps, and other “wearables” now claim to revolutionize healthcare, it is easy to overlook older instruments of medical surveillance. But in 1949, when Norman Holter first fitted a wearable FM-radio to track and record the functioning of patients’ hearts in their domestic worlds, he envisioned “a more general project of broadcasting physiological data” from homes and workplaces and transmitting it to analytic systems to be interpreted.  The early history of physiological surveillance, I argue, had more impact on who was newly granted expertise to receive and interpret health data as it did the data itself. 

Bio: Jeremy Greene is a physician, historian, and author whose writings capture the social lives and political stakes of everyday medical technologies. He is the William H. Welch Professor of Medicine and the History of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he directs the Institute of the History of Medicine and the Center for Medical Humanities and Social Medicine, and practices general internal medicine in an urban community health center. In addition to these books, Greene publishes widely in popular periodicals, health policy, public health, and clinical journals, and scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences of health and medicine.

Purchase Dr. Jeremy Greene’s book online or at the Stanford Bookstore