Background: Many studies have provided evidence of the importance of quality provider-patient communications and have suggested improvements to patient understanding by using video-based instruction.
Objective: The objective of this study was to understand how mobile information technology assisted video and three-dimensional (3D) image instruction, provided by a health care worker, influences two categories of outcome: (1) patient understanding of information about their condition and detailed medical discharge instructions; and (2) patient perceptions and attitudes toward their health care providers, which included physicians, nurses, and staff. We hypothesize that video and 3D image instruction, provided on a mobile, tablet hardware platform, will improve patient understanding about the diagnostic testing, diagnoses, procedures, medications, and health topics provided to them. We also propose that use of the tablet/video combination will result in improved attitudinal evaluation by patients of their providers and the treatment plan.
Methods: This study evaluated a hospital clinic-based trial (patient N=284) of video and 3D image instruction, provided on a mobile, tablet hardware platform, and its potential to improve patient understanding about the diagnostic testing, diagnoses, procedures, medications, and health topics provided to them.
Results: Results showed strong evidence that the system was perceived as helpful for improving patient understanding, and that it improved communication between physicians and patients (P<.001). The advanced age of some patients had no effect on their perceptions of the tablet-based mediation. Physician comments provided useful insights on effective use of such systems in the future. Implications for further development and future research are discussed.
Conclusions: This study added to the body of evidence that computer-assisted video instructional systems for patients can improve patient understanding of medical instructions from their health care providers and assist with patient compliance. In addition, such systems can be appealing to both patient and provider.
Keywords: eHealth; medical informatics; mobile computing; patient education; patient-centered information systems.