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date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the analyses and results for the ESRC Domain of Health and Well-Being, guided by a three-part main question: “whether technology makes us healthier, better educated, and more productive.” It first provides an initial overview of the major insights from the literature review and analysis, the Delphi surveys, and workshop discussions about the relevant range of the concepts of health and well-being in a digital age. The resulting focus is initially mostly about the technology but later on users, health, and research. Eight main topics emerged, including health care, measures and measurement, mobile and smartphone devices, social support, and weight loss. The analyses also highlighted theory, methods, and approaches in the literature, showing a relatively even distribution of deductive–inductive approaches and quantitative–qualitative approaches, using several well-known theories from psychology (e.g., theories of behavior change) and sociology (social networks). The review provides examples of literature from the project’s study period that illustrate these topics. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future research directions (e.g., cross-platform or holistic assessments examining the effects of broad, everyday digital technology use on health and well-being) and research challenges (e.g., methods, rapid change in health care technology, big data for health, and linking of personal and clinical health data with well-being outcomes).

Keywords: digital technology, ESRC Review, health, health care, mobile and smartphone devices, psychology, social networks, social support, sociology, weight loss

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