Exploring Responsible Neuroimaging Innovation: Visions From a Societal Actor Perspective

M.E. Arentshorst, J.T. de Cock Buning, J.E.W. Broerse

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Apart from the scientific unknowns and technological barriers that complicate the development of medical neuroimaging applications, various relevant actors might have different ideas on what is considered advancement or progress in this field. We address the challenge of identifying societal actors and their different points of view concerning neuroimaging technologies in an early phase of neuroimaging development. To this end, we conducted 16 semistructured interviews with societal actors, including governmental policy makers, health professionals, and patient representatives, in the Netherlands. We show how the contextual aspects of applications and underlying features of the ideal health system determine the desirability. Neuroimaging developments are perceived as innovations that will optimize the current health system or as opportunities to change existing structures and practices of the current health system more radically. Insights into and understanding of these visions show incongruence between visions regarding desirable medical neuroimaging use and potential conflicting visions regarding the embedding of neuroimaging applications. We conclude that it is possible to prospectively identify incongruent visions and analyze when these visions will most likely come into conflict with each other. Such an analysis might provide a reflective space, beyond personal and political interest, suitable as a starting point for joint reflection and mutual learning in order to manage medical neuroimaging innovations towards more responsible applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-240
JournalBulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017


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