HealthyMe is funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and is a collaboration with technology company, Philips.
There has been a marked rise in the use of personal mobile computing and the availability of healthcare related smartphone apps. There is growing interest in the future development of apps to support patient self-management of long term conditions.
As well as recording symptoms and physiological readings and communicating these to healthcare professionals, apps can also provide information and management advice to patients on their conditions. For these apps to be effective, it is important that they are designed to meet the needs of the patients and health care professionals who are expected to use them.
Using blood pressure monitoring as an exemplar, the aim of this project is to better understand patients and health care professionals’ expectations and acceptance of smartphone apps designed to support self-management of long term conditions.
We will conduct two rounds of interviews with 20 health care professionals (including GPs, practice nurses and hospital consultants) and 20 people living with hypertension.
The first round of interviews will comprise open-ended questions designed to explore health care professionals’ and patients’ perspectives on:
- their experiences of self-management and telehealth to date
- their views on what features that they would like to see in a self-management smartphone app
- what information and support they would wish to receive and provide (and in what format)
- the value and trust they would place in such an app
Based on the findings from these interviews, we will compile an online questionnaire that will be sent to 300 telehealth patients. The aim of the questionnaire is to determine the extent to which the interviewees’ perspectives are supported by a wider population of patients.
Philips will use the findings from the interviews and questionnaire to design a (non-functioning) demonstration prototype, with illustrations of the type of feedback and data entry system proposed.
We will then conduct a second round of interviews with the same health care professionals and patients, in which we will show the participants the demonstration prototype. This will not be a working device but will be populated with ‘dummy data’ to allow the participants to experience how the app would function. We will ask the participants to explore the features and functions and discuss the extent to which it meets their needs.
Our colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden are carrying out a similar exercise with patients with heart failure.
Through this process, we hope to produce evidence that will support the development of smartphone apps for self-management of long term conditions that better meet the needs of both patients and health care professionals.
|Funder||European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)|
|Chief Investigator||Professor Brian McKinstry|
|Researchers||Dr Vicky Hammersley, Dr Emily Creamer, Dr Eddie Donaghy|
|Collaborators||Philips, Karolinska Institute|