Ziebland et al. consider what might be learned from the unintended, apparently unanticipated, consequences of the use of digital health (including alternatives to face to face consultations, electronic medical records, use of apps and online monitoring) in primary care.
- Awareness of unintended consequences can help to balance a promissory discourse of digital health.
- Digital health technologies can disrupt power relations and lead to paradoxical outcomes.
- When digital health technologies fail staff can develop a general pessimism about innovations.
- When planning digital health technologies the ‘dark logic’ should be considered as well as to the potential.
- Accounts of unintended consequences make engaging stories for reflective, learning organisations.