The Innovations Track – My Area of Concentration at Maastricht
I’m in the Innovations track here at Maastricht, which provides a bottom-up, social sciences and science and technology studies approach to health and health care innovations. Innovations are not limited to technological solutions; innovations can also be social and policy-based. There are three courses in this track.
The first course “Globalization and Transferability” looks at theoretical frameworks to understand the ways in which technological innovations can be ‘transferred’ from one place to another, for example from a developed to a developing country.
Second, “Health in Times of Crisis” presents media representations of ‘disasters’ and challenges us to identify ‘what is missing’ to develop more comprehensive understandings of the issues. In my final paper, I examined how lay news stories framed and thereby ‘explained’ the recent Aboriginal youth suicide crises in Canada.
We’ve started the third course, “Medical Mobility”. The final project is to develop and present a technological innovation to a jury of professors and professionals in the field.
We must be prepared to discuss how the innovation we have come up with will be ‘transferable’ to different contexts. Inspired by the Lucky Iron Fish, my group has decided to create a solid disk of vitamins to add to cooking pots in developing countries. This disk would release the nutrients slowly while you cook and address malnutrition. The disk could be tailored to specific nutritional needs in different communities and geographical areas.
Another course, which all students in the program take regardless of track, is Foundations of Global Health. In virtual groups with students around the world, we’re preparing development project proposals in response to the (mock) Global Agency of International Development (GAID) call for proposals.
My group is developing an app to match University students with elderly persons who have spare rooms in their houses to address loneliness among elderly persons.
Since being here, I’ve also been chipping away at my scholarly paper, which is due to be submitted in the summer. I’ll be exploring how ageing trajectories and dementia journeys among Aboriginal populations in Canada are affected by history and culture.
Laura JamiesonStudent Blog