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Vol. 11 No. 2: April issue

The Medical Tech Facilitator: An Emerging Position in Dutch Public Healthcare and Their Tinkering Practices

December 13, 2022


This article focuses on the emerging position of the ‘medical tech facilitator’ developed by practitioners in the Dutch public healthcare system. The analysis is based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in Dutch hospitals. It highlights, firstly, the practices and ongoing negotiations that these facilitators engage in, to maintain a position between two partiesthe medical sector and the technology industry. I argue that the practices of medical tech facilitators are not (only) a result of personal, lucrative interests, but should be seen as a pragmatic way of coping, or tinkering, with a healthcare system that is experienced by them as frustrating and inefficient. Secondly, the article reveals the outcomes of these practices for public healthcare. I will pose that this emerging and ambiguous position leads to a co-production of specific health policiessomething which is concerning, considering the fact that medical tech facilitators typically lack technological expertise. As such, they both resist and reproduce the problems they experience in their daily work.