Technology in health and humanization

The technological advance seems to indicate that all mankind may be beneficiary of these achievements and not just a few.

Jayr Figueiredo de Oliveira


It is a reflection, which uses Merhy theory to support the idea of considering that humanize quality permeates the process of development of technologies in any field of knowledge. Unlink this process is literally dehumanize then concluded that humanize technology is.

As we analyze similarities at the same time identify the differences of process technologies and humanization. Ideas built and disseminated, from ancient times to the present, were influenced the predominant values and knowledge society. However, many external processes, such as the economy contributed to transform the nature of view (1,2); but it is up to man to choose what is appropriate for your needs, whether individual or collective (3).

Thus, when choosing for these transformations, enable are significant changes to human development in its various fields of knowledge. Thus, the human being met and use of the technologies defined as primitives (fire, agriculture, wheel, writing, bronze, iron, among other forms of discoveries), for its survival and safety (1).

Over the years, several of these discoveries have improved, but others were lost in time, perhaps because they have to abandon their comforting beliefs, or perhaps to allow other foundations in the construction of values, such as justice, solidarity and ethics (4).

In this view, new technologies have emerged, which differed according to their approaches and their applications. It is worth noting that the modifications of these findings the premise of finding tools that can intervene in analysis to improve the quality and possible property-relations (4.5).

In the context of health, care and their relationship with the hospital structure, address similar concepts, but apparently controversial. In a short historical review, the disease was related to supernatural factors in the Christian era was considered a “divine punishment”, but made possible the development of another theory that would give shelter and complement parallel as “the salvation of the soul”, created by their caregivers . Only in the twelfth century, the human being has to be considered as a central focus on treatment, opposing the issues and previous supernatural theories.

In the mid-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the perspective of medieval civilization has changed radically in relation to health, the vision of caring for an organic universe (body) and spiritual, was replaced by the notion of the world as a machine and its gears. However, in the eighteenth century, the care to the “sick” institutionalized taking account of the Cartesian paradigm that addresses the treatment to humans by a mechanized system, parts sealed under different forms. Thus, the term known as the mechanized care or dehumanized technology emerges, considering as priority the restoration to return to work (6,7).

From the second half of the twentieth century, several health professionals who realize the crisis in the Cartesian model in care identified the need to build or rebuild a new paradigm, using a term first described in 1945 by the doctor Henry Sigerist the ” promoting health “(7).

Thus, Merhy et al (4,5,8) established types of technology for the Health area grouping them and set them as mild, soft-hard, hard, based on historical preconceptions.

Consider light technology is expressing a communication production process, the relationships, acceptance, empowerment, links that lead out to the users with the needs of actions on health. The soft-hard technology including structured knowledge represented by the subjects operating in health, such as the medical clinic, dental, epidemiology, nursing, among others. Hard technology can be represented by concrete material and technological equipment (hardware), furniture permanent type or consumption, standards and routines, organizational structures.

Although interlink, the type of technology can fall in importance as the area in which the professional / human person acts (8,9).

The idea Technology Health consists of knowledge and practices that could result in enclosed products, such normative behaviors (hard), or open, such as on a relation process, which can illustrate as a humanization process (mild) (9).

However, humanization requires a reflection on the values and concepts specific to the human being and its principles, to guide the practice of health professionals (9,10).

Corroborating Rios (11) emphasizes that transform the installed institutional culture, must work the idea of collective construction of ethical commitments and methods for the actions of health care and management of services on the grounds of respect and appreciation of human person.

For this, the focus of humanizing health care, are envisaged, individualized care actions; comfortable instrumentários; environmental changes with colors, lights, furniture, music, and other factors that can collaborate and provide the well-being of the patient, visitor and professional (10.11). In order of quality of life with holistic approach focused on the person and not the disease.

Any human being needs relationships, links, references, host of knowledge production (12); Finally, you need light technologies, requires hard technologies (4), to provide choices in the quality of life (3), untying this process is to break the link of human development is literally dehumanize. Humanizing technology is!


1. Tecnologia – Wikipédia: a enciclopédia livre. [homepage]. C2001 [atualizado em 07 de julho de 2010; acessado em 08 de julho de 2010]. Disponível em:

2. Schmitz VR. O trabalho associado e a produção de saberes: um diálogo com a associação do trabalhador urbano de recicláveis orgânicos e inorgânicos – ATUROI. Educação Unisinos. 2006, 10 (2): 148-153.

3. Glasser W. Teoria da Escolha: uma nova psicologia de liberdade pessoal. São Paulo:Mercuryo; 2002.

4. Merhy EE. Em busca de ferramentas analisadoras das tecnologias em saúde: a informação e o dia a dia de um serviço, interrogando e gerindo trabalho em saúde.In: Merhy EE, Onocko, R. Agir em Saúde: um desafio para o público. São Paulo (SP): Hucitec; 1997

5. Merhy EE. Em busca do tempo perdido: a micropolítica do trabalho vivo em saúde. In: Merhy EE, Onocko, R. Agir em Saúde: um desafio para o público.São Paulo (SP): Hucitec; 1997.

6. Silva Denise Conceição da, Alvim Neide Aparecida Titonelli, Figueiredo Paula Alvarenga de. Tecnologias leves em saúde e sua relação com o cuidado de enfermagem hospitalar. Esc. Anna Nery [periódico na Internet]. 2008 Jun [citado 2010 Jul 09]; 12(2): 291-298. Disponível em:

7. Rios Ediara Rabello Girão, Franchi Kristiane Mesquita Barros, Silva Raimunda Magalhães da, Amorim Rosendo Freitas de, Costa Nhandeyjara de Carvalho. Senso comum, ciência e filosofia: elo dos saberes necessários à promoção da saúde. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [periódico na Internet]. 2007 Abr [citado 2010 Jul 09] ; 12(2): 501-509. Disponível em:

8. Barra DCC, Nascimento ERP, Martins JJ, Albuquerque GL, Erdmann AL. Evolução histórico e impacto da tecnologia na área da saúde e da enfermagem. Rev. Eletr. Enf. [Internet]. 2006; 8(3):422-30. Disponível em:

9. Marques Isaac Rosa, Souza Agnaldo Rodrigues de. Tecnologia e humanização em ambientes intensivos. Rev. bras. enferm. [serial on the Internet]. 2010 Feb [cited 2010 July 09] ; 63(1): 141-144. Available from:

10. Arone Evanisa Maria, Cunha Isabel Cristina Kowal Olm. Tecnologia e humanização: desafios gerenciados pelo enfermeiro em prol da integralidade da assistência. Rev. bras. enferm. [serial on the Internet]. 2007 Dec [cited 2010 June 07] ; 60(6): 721-723. Disponível em:

11. RIOS, Izabel Cristina. Humanização: a essência da ação técnica e ética nas práticas de saúde. Rev. bras. educ. med. [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.2 [cited 2010-05-04], pp. 253-261 . Disponível em:

12. Backes D S, Lunardi V L, Lunardi W D Filho. A humanização hospitalar como expressão da ética. Rev Latino-am Enfermagem 2006 janeiro-fevereiro; 14 (1):132-5.