Background: Patients increasingly use mobile devices to send text messages and photographic data to surgeons. There is potential to harness this patient-generated health data (PGHD) for clinical and public health surveillance of surgical site infection (SSI). Leveraging PGHD collected via remote monitoring in the post-operative period has the potential to produce important benefits for patients, surgeons, care teams, and infection surveillance and prevention. Methods: We conducted a health technology assessment (HTA), drawing heavily on stakeholder engagement to better understand current and potential uses of PGHD in post-operative care. Stakeholder engagement activities included assembling an advisory board composed of stakeholder experts, interviewing key informants, and seeking out stakeholder guidance to synthesize evidence from interviews, literature review, and technical app review in order to develop recommendations on the use of PGHD in SSI surveillance. Results: We conducted a review of the published literature, a technical/market scan of available apps for capturing post-operative PGHD, and two rounds of key informant interviews with stakeholders. In addition, we held a day-long workshop to solicit stakeholder feedback on initial findings of the project and to guide additional work. These activities culminated in an HTA report that provides guidance and recommendations on the use of PGHD in SSI surveillance, including practice, research, and public health surveillance, and identifies open issues on post-operative use of PGHD for which additional evidence and experience are needed to optimize application of those data for clinical and public health purposes. Conclusion: Stakeholders, individuals with direct experience, or interest in a given topic are critical to the HTA process. They provide insight to guide the work conducted, ensure that the topics addressed are relevant and important, and that products of the work are accessible and meaningful to the individuals who will be most impacted.
Keywords: health technology assessment; mHealth; patient-generated health data; stakeholder engagement; surgical site infection.