Ageing International

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 283–299 | Cite as

Understanding the Role of Technology in Care: the Implementation of GPS-Technology in Dementia Treatment

  • Hendrik Storstein SpilkerEmail author
  • Maren Kristine Norby


Earlier literature on “welfare technologies” in general – and the use of GPS devices in dementia care in special – has been overwhelmingly focused on either individual (user-centric), technical or ethical challenges related to technology implementation. This paper argues for a relational analysis to supplement and adjust shortcomings in the existing research literature and introduces the concept of “techno-organizational networks” for the task. Through an analysis of a post-pilot period of a pilot-project with GPS-tracking of dementia patients, it is shown how a relational approach contributes to a better understanding of the dynamics and obstacles of developing technology-assisted health-care services. An original contribution of the article is also the argument for studying transitional, post-project or in-between project phases of technology implementation, which as a rule tend to be project driven, also in terms of research.


Dementia Dementia treatment Health system organization Welfare technologies Ambient assisted living E-health Sociology Science and technology studies Actor-network theory 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

We state that there is no conflict of interest related to this work.

Informed Consent

Informed consents were received from all informants.

Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)

All procedures performed in this research is in accordance with the ethical standards of and with approval from NSD (The Norwegian Social Scientific Data Handling Organization).

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Sociology and Political ScienceNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

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