From Inside Technology
Insight and Industry
On the Dynamics of Technological Change in Medicine
Insight and Industry examines the "careers" of four major technologies that have reshaped medicine by allowing new forms of insight into the human interior. Blume's studies of ultrasound, thermography, computerized tomography, and nuclear magnetic resonance reveal the many ways in which manufacturers, medical personnel, and patients affect both the form and the use of innovative technologies. Blume explores alternative models for analyzing the process of technological development and diffusion. He then uses the general model he has constructed to guide the four case studies, showing in particular how and why each new vision developed or did not develop an audience and support group. A concluding chapter builds on the four studies and examines the possibility of actively shaping the process of future technological development in medicine. Insight and Industry is valuable both as a straightforward comparative study of the four diagnostic imaging techniques and as a significant contribution to the literature on technology and innovation. Blume's interpretive framework allows us to explore important questions such as what factors are implicated in the process of the technologization of medicine, why new technology in medicine so often seems to mean more rather than less expensive treatment, how technologies become specific to certain applications, why we have some technologies and not others, and how processes of technological innovation in medicine may differ from those in other areas of social practices.