Over the past decade, data-intensive logics and practices have come to affect domains of contemporary life ranging from marketing and policy making to entertainment and education; at every turn, there is evidence of “datafication” or the conversion of qualitative aspects of life into quantified data. The datafication of health unfolds on a number of different scales and registers, including data-driven medical research and public health infrastructures, clinical health care, and self-care practices. For the purposes of this review, we focus mainly on the latter two domains, examining how scholars in anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies, and media and communication studies have begun to explore the datafication of clinical and self-care practices. We identify the dominant themes and questions, methodological approaches, and analytical resources of this emerging literature, parsing these under three headings: datafied power, living with data, and data–human mediations We conclude by urging scholars to pay closer attention to how datafication is unfolding on the “other side” of various digital divides (e.g., financial, technological, geographic), to experiment with applied forms of research and data activism, and to probe links to areas of datafication that are not explicitly related to health.


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