Background: With the spread of COVID-19, telemedicine solutions became crucial to release continuous and remote assistance to chronic patients. The rapid transition to telemedicine solutions did not allow a complete assessment of the user experience by both patients and medical personnel. Despite the well-known benefits in remote care, the lack of usability evaluation of already existing technologies for the vital signs measurement has emerged. A telemedicine platform must match video communication between patients and the medical staff with the possibility to measure vital parameters. Furthermore, technological assistance may overcome the unfamiliarity with telemedicine and drastically reduce the learning time for both patients and medical personnel. Objectives: The research work presents a method to improve the user experience of a telemedicine service based on the combination of televisits and telemonitoring with wearable sensors for heart failure patients. Skilled technological staff is proposed by the presented method to lead the learning process of both medical personnel and patients in order to reach a high level of usability in less than 6 months. Methods: The proposed method is composed of 5 steps: identification of technological staff and end users; selection of the telemedicine platform; design of questionnaires for usability analysis; training of clinicians and patients; final usability evaluation of the telemedicine platform by means of customized satisfaction questionnaires and Post-Study System Usability Questionnaires (PSSUQs). The methodological approach has been tested in collaboration with a heart failure clinic by involving 5 physicians, 5 nurses, 15 heart failure patients, a research engineer and 4 technicians. A platform with 3 wearable sensors has been chosen: a wireless thermometer, a finger pulse-oximeter and an undershirt have been used for the detection of ECG trace. While these devices allowed asynchronous measurements of physiological data, scheduled televisits have been used for direct communication between physicians and patients. Results: Satisfaction questionnaires of patients and clinicians reached respectively 65.18% and 65.83%, while PSSUQ scores were respectively 91.73% and 81.70%. Both groups of end users confirmed a good level of usability and their satisfaction about the ease of use and the perceived quality of the instrumentation. Moreover, 73% of patients did not require help from caregivers to use the kit of sensors. The results have been reached in 5.5 months according to the aim defined initially. Research engineers have played a crucial role in helping clinicians and patients to improve the user experience with the telemedicine platform. Conclusions: The high level of usability and satisfaction confirmed that the proposed methodological approach helps to learn the technological features of the telemedicine platforms, which are based on different types of technology, such as web applications, wearable sensors and virtual calls. The positive results with heart failure patients encouraged to plan further research studies by using the designed method with other categories of chronic patients.

(2022). Improving the user experience of televisits and telemonitoring for heart failure patients in less than 6 months: a methodological approach [journal article - articolo]. In INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INFORMATICS. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/212226

Improving the user experience of televisits and telemonitoring for heart failure patients in less than 6 months: a methodological approach

Savoldelli, Anna;Vitali, Andrea;Remuzzi, Andrea;
2022

Abstract

Background: With the spread of COVID-19, telemedicine solutions became crucial to release continuous and remote assistance to chronic patients. The rapid transition to telemedicine solutions did not allow a complete assessment of the user experience by both patients and medical personnel. Despite the well-known benefits in remote care, the lack of usability evaluation of already existing technologies for the vital signs measurement has emerged. A telemedicine platform must match video communication between patients and the medical staff with the possibility to measure vital parameters. Furthermore, technological assistance may overcome the unfamiliarity with telemedicine and drastically reduce the learning time for both patients and medical personnel. Objectives: The research work presents a method to improve the user experience of a telemedicine service based on the combination of televisits and telemonitoring with wearable sensors for heart failure patients. Skilled technological staff is proposed by the presented method to lead the learning process of both medical personnel and patients in order to reach a high level of usability in less than 6 months. Methods: The proposed method is composed of 5 steps: identification of technological staff and end users; selection of the telemedicine platform; design of questionnaires for usability analysis; training of clinicians and patients; final usability evaluation of the telemedicine platform by means of customized satisfaction questionnaires and Post-Study System Usability Questionnaires (PSSUQs). The methodological approach has been tested in collaboration with a heart failure clinic by involving 5 physicians, 5 nurses, 15 heart failure patients, a research engineer and 4 technicians. A platform with 3 wearable sensors has been chosen: a wireless thermometer, a finger pulse-oximeter and an undershirt have been used for the detection of ECG trace. While these devices allowed asynchronous measurements of physiological data, scheduled televisits have been used for direct communication between physicians and patients. Results: Satisfaction questionnaires of patients and clinicians reached respectively 65.18% and 65.83%, while PSSUQ scores were respectively 91.73% and 81.70%. Both groups of end users confirmed a good level of usability and their satisfaction about the ease of use and the perceived quality of the instrumentation. Moreover, 73% of patients did not require help from caregivers to use the kit of sensors. The results have been reached in 5.5 months according to the aim defined initially. Research engineers have played a crucial role in helping clinicians and patients to improve the user experience with the telemedicine platform. Conclusions: The high level of usability and satisfaction confirmed that the proposed methodological approach helps to learn the technological features of the telemedicine platforms, which are based on different types of technology, such as web applications, wearable sensors and virtual calls. The positive results with heart failure patients encouraged to plan further research studies by using the designed method with other categories of chronic patients.
articolo
Savoldelli, Anna; Vitali, Andrea; Remuzzi, Andrea; Giudici, Vittorio
(2022). Improving the user experience of televisits and telemonitoring for heart failure patients in less than 6 months: a methodological approach [journal article - articolo]. In INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INFORMATICS. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/212226
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