Aims: Previous generations of home monitoring systems have had limited usability. We aimed to develop and evaluate a user-centred and adaptive system for health monitoring and self-management support in patients with heart failure.
Methods and results: Patients with heart failure were recruited from three UK centres and provided with Internet-enabled tablet computers that were wirelessly linked with sensor devices for blood pressure, heart rate, and weight monitoring. Patient observations, interviews, and concurrent analyses of the automatically collected data from their monitoring devices were used to increase the usability of the system. Of the 52 participants (median age 77 years, median follow-up 6 months [interquartile range, IQR, 3.6-9.2]), 24 (46%) had no, or very limited prior, experience with digital technologies. It took participants about 1.5 min to complete the daily monitoring tasks, and the rate of failed attempts in completing tasks was <5%. After 45 weeks of observation, participants still used the system on 4.5 days per week (confidence interval 3.2-5.7 days). Of the 46 patients who could complete the final survey, 93% considered the monitoring system as easy to use and 38% asked to keep the system for self-management support after the study was completed.
Conclusion: We developed a user-centred home monitoring system that enabled a wide range of heart failure patients, with differing degrees of IT literacy, to monitor their health status regularly. Despite no active medical intervention, patients felt that they benefited from the reassurance and sense of connectivity that the monitoring system provided.