Expecting Diagnostics, Diagnosing Expectations. The Plausibility Framework in Use
“A world without patients”: this is the motto of the Arizona State University spin-off company manufacturing microchips for research on “Immunosignatures”. By its developers, immunosignatures (ImSg) are presented as a “technological revolution” able to transform diagnostics and improve the American healthcare system. How is the plausibility of these expectations constructed and how can it be assessed? Chapters 3, 4 and 5 of this book use the Nanopil to justify and explain the single steps of a framework for analyzing the plausibility of expectations of emerging technologies. This chapter illustrates the wider applicability of this framework using the case of ImSg. After an introduction on the promise of this technology and a description of the research design, the two central sections analyze expectations in relation to this technoscientific project and its context of use. Based on these analyses, the plausibility of expectations that the ImSg will bring about desirable outcomes is discussed. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the plausibility assessment framework through a comparison of the cases of the Nanopil and Immunosignature.