Development of a Path to Home Mobile App for the Geriatric Rehabilitation Program at Bruyère Continuing Care: Protocol for User-Centered Design and Feasibility Testing Studies

JMIR Res Protoc. 2018 Sep 24;7(9):e11031. doi: 10.2196/11031.


Background: As the population ages, the need for appropriate geriatric rehabilitation services will also increase. Pressures faced by hospitals to reduce length of stay and reduce costs have driven the need for more complex care being delivered in the home or community setting. As a result, a multifaceted approach that can provide geriatric rehabilitation patients with safe and effective person- and family-centered care during transitions from hospital to home is required. We hypothesize that a technology-supported person- and family-centered care transition could empower geriatric rehabilitation patients, engage them in shared decision making, and ultimately help them to safely manage their personalized needs during care transitions from hospital to home.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to design and test the feasibility of a novel Path to Home mobile app to manage the personalized needs of geriatric rehabilitation patients during their transitions from hospital to home.

Methods: This study will consist of (1) codesigning a patient- and provider-tailored mobile app, and (2) feasibility pilot testing of the mobile app to manage the needs of geriatric rehabilitation patients when leaving the hospital. In phase 1, we will follow a user-centered design process integrated with a modern agile software development methodology to iteratively codesign the personalized care transition Path to Home mobile app. In phase 2, we will conduct a single-arm feasibility pilot test with geriatric rehabilitation patients using the personalized care transition Path to Home mobile app to manage their needs during the transition from hospital to home.

Results: The project was funded in May 2018, and enrollment and data analysis are underway. First results are expected to be submitted for publication in 2019.

Conclusions: Our findings will help validate the use of this technology for geriatric rehabilitation patients discharged from the hospital to home. Future research will more rigorously evaluate the health and economic benefits to inform wide-scale adoption of the technology.

Registered report identifier: RR1-10.2196/11031.

Keywords: care transition; geriatric rehabilitation; health services for the aged; mHealth; patient discharge; rehabilitation; telemedicine; transitional care; user-centered design.