My primary areas of research include digital spaces/technologies, global health, development, and relations between India and Africa.
My current book project, “Bandwidth for Life: Anthropological Incursions into the Pan-African e-Network”, explores a transnational network through which tertiary hospitals in India provide medical teleconsultations to health centers across Africa. This is a colossal network, aimed at caring for patients at a distance. Drawing upon extensive field research carried in India and West Africa, the book examines how digital technology transforms the space of clinical work and reconfigures the distribution of medical care. It suggests that the network points towards new practical horizons of intelligibility within which human lives come to matter to people, to take shape as objects of medical knowledge and intervention. The book also investigates how the Pan-African e-Network contributes to the emergence of new transnational markets between India and Africa.
Over the past two years, I have also explored the impact of mobile connectivity on global health. In collaboration with colleagues from the Centre de recherche en santé de Nouna (CRSN), I have studied the effects of mobile devices on medical monitoring and care in rural Burkina Faso. To do so, I have examined the implementation process – challenges, limitations, and unintended consequences – of a mobile health (mHealth) network, MOS@N. My research aims to: a) explore the impact of data connectivity on the daily operations of primary healthcare centers and the lives of patients and laypersons; b) gain a better understanding of how mHealth forges new relations between technology, social life, and healthcare; c) provide ethnographic insight into issues of scaling and replicability which are ubiquitous in the global health world.
Finally, I am currently developing a research project devoted to the problematic use of media devices in urban India. Specifically, I aim to explore the enigmatic, contested yet severe mental health condition of Internet addiction (IA). On the one hand, I want to examine what the debates surrounding IA as a diagnostic category reveal about socially accepted, digital forms of life. On the other hand, I will work with specialized treatment centers to understand the experience, and therapeutic management of IA in India.