Background: Remote health monitoring technology has been suggested as part of an early intervention and prevention care model. Older adults with a chronic health condition have been shown to benefit from remote monitoring but often have challenges with complex technology. The current study reports on the usability of and adherence with an integrated, real-time monitoring system over an extended period of time by older adults with and without a chronic health condition.
Materials and methods: Older adults 55 years of age and over with and without heart failure participated in a study in which a telehealth system was used for 6 months each. The system consisted of a wireless wristwatch-based monitoring device that continuously collected temperature and motion data. Other health information was collected daily using a weight scale, blood pressure cuff, and tablet that participants used for health surveys. Data were automatically analyzed and summarized by the system and presented to study nurses.
Results: Forty-one older adults participated. Seventy-one percent of surveys, 75% of blood pressure readings, and 81% of daily weight measurements were taken. Participants wore the watch monitor 77% of the overall 24/7 time requested. The weight scale had the highest usability rating in both groups. The groups did not otherwise differ on device usage.
Conclusions: The findings indicate that a health monitoring system designed for older adults can and will be used for an extended period of time and may help older adults with chronic conditions reside longer in their own homes in partnership with the healthcare system.
Keywords: adherence; e-health; home health monitoring; mobile health; telehealth; usability.