Author(s): Smith CE, Spaulding R, Piamjariyakul U, Werkowitch M, Yadrich DM,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Patients requiring daily intravenous (IV) home parenteral nutrition (HPN) would benefit from in-home professional observation to improve self-care, to assess, detect and prevent serious complications. AIMS: The study aims are to assess the viability and utility of conducting mobile healthcare (mHealth) videoconference assessments with patients managing lifelong daily 12-hour IV nutrition infusions in their homes. The challenges and solutions to implementing mobile personal computer (PC) tablet based clinic appointments are described. METHODS: A wireless Apple iPad Mini™ mobile touch-screen tablet computer with 5 mega-pixel camera was loaned to patients. Each tablet had Polycom RealPresence software and a fourth generation (4G) mobile telecommunications data plan. These supported audio-visual mobile videoconferencing encrypted connections between health professionals in their offices and HPN patients and their family members in their homes. Patients' and professionals' evaluations of their mHealth clinic experiences are collected. RESULTS: Patients (mean age = 41.9, SD = 2.8 years) had been prescribed 12-hour home parenteral nutrition (HPN) infusions daily due short bowel disorders. Patients had been on HPN from 1 to 10 years (M=4, SD=3.6). Evaluation of clinic appointments revealed that 100\% of the patients (n=45) and the professionals (n=6) indicated that they can clearly hear and easily see one another. The mHealth audio-visual interactions were highly rated by patients and family members. Professionals highly rated their ability to obtain a medical history and visual inspection of patients. Several challenges were identified and recommendations for resolutions are described. DISCUSSION: All patients and professionals highly rated the iPad mHealth clinic appointments for convenience and ease of communicating between homes and offices. An important challenge for all mHealth visits is the clinical professional's ability to make clinically accurate judgments about what they observed and heard from the patients. Following our solutions for obtaining clear visuals with the iPad can improve ability to make clinical assessments.
This article was published in J Mob Technol Med
and referenced in International Journal of Sensor Networks and Data Communications