Ethnographic Essay: Ethnographic Vignette

My ethnographic study was based on how dialysis patients interact with applications to help them overcome their many daily challenges. Those challenges include taking medications, tracking health stats, and keeping in contact with doctors. I conducted a survey with 15 dialysis patients varying in age and length of time they have been on dialysis. I was going to limit the surveys to those that had a smartphone until I realized that non-smartphones have their own capabilities that can be used to help over come problems also. In these surveys I asked a series of questions to gauge their challenges and their smartphone application use. Based on their responses i have found that most dialysis patients are under informed when it comes to applications they can be using. I ended up informing each of the patients after the survey on what they could be using to better their life. The question as to why they were so uninformed can be answered in a multitude of ways. Age is a possible and the most probable limiting factor, a majority of elderly people have issues with learning and understanding new technology as shown in a study by Link-Age in 2016. The saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is often referenced when discussing an elderly person and some new form of technology. The only issue with using this justification is that when I showed them how to use the applications they seemed to pick it up fairly easily. This means there has to be other factors that played into their lack of knowledge about helpful applications.