Comparing Two Definitions of ‘Welfare technology’ - An Ideal-type Analysis Using Industrial and Welfare Societies


  • Annika Hasselblad Mid Sweden University



The Swedish government has recently invested millions in ‘welfare technologies’, which are aimed at both enhancing safety and solve the demographic problem of an increasing elderly population and a consequent lack of healthcare personnel. Studies have shown that when welfare technologies are implemented, core values are getting lost due to a lack of knowledge on how to transform the caregiving and care-taking relationship through the use of digital technology. This study investigates correspondences between values associated with two welfare technology definitions and the ideal-types of a welfare and an industrial society. The results show that the definition created by IT & Telecom Industries includes values that are similar to those of the industrial society ideal-type, while the definition created by the Swedish Auxiliary Institute includes values similar to those associated with the welfare society ideal-type. This shows a gap in value prioritization of the creators of these definitions, which leads to confusion regarding the purpose of welfare technologies.