Chronic Conditions and Wearable Devices: Does the Use of Modern Technologies Improve Quality of Life in Chronic Patients

Bonacaro, Antonio and Sookhoo, Dave (2018) Chronic Conditions and Wearable Devices: Does the Use of Modern Technologies Improve Quality of Life in Chronic Patients. In: CNAI2017: L’infermiere e la gestione dei problemi delle persone con patologie croniche, 19-21 October 2017, Ravenna, Italy.

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) chronic diseases are the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths. Strategies employed to tackle chronic diseases aim to act on risk factors through adopting a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and avoiding exposure to tobacco and other toxic substances. These strategies can be greatly implemented from the adoption of modern technologies, which allow a thorough and minimally invasive monitoring of patients’ clinical data. Wearable electronics are defined as “devices that can be worn or mated with human skin to continuously and closely monitor an individual's activities, without interrupting or limiting the user's motions”. This presentation explores the evidence obtained through a literature review, which aims to clarify whether wearable devices can help in preventing hospital readmission in chronic patients, to illustrate the types of wearable devices currently available for this purpose and whether they can contribute in improving chronic patient safety in the home care setting. METHOD: A literature search of electronic databases in the healthcare field was performed in January 2017. The following databases were searched: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Pub Med, EMBASE and MEDLINE. In addition, an electronic and hand search of the reference lists of all the selected publications was performed to include more suitable publications. The following keywords were used: wearable devices OR wearable technology, chronic conditions OR chronic diseases, hospital admission OR hospital admission prevention OR hospital readmission OR hospital readmission prevention, elderly, safety, barriers OR obstacles OR changes. RESULTS: 35 qualitative and quantitative articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the literature review. Quality assessment and data extraction were carried out and themes relating to the questions posed were abstracted for synthesis. DISCUSSION: Despite the large number of articles on wearable devices only few of them try to shed light on the clinical benefits of the adoption of these devices by chronic patients, since most of the papers are purely technical. Various wearable devices are currently available to monitor and keep records of different clinical information with the aim of helping users to improve their quality of life. Some of them are proved to prevent hospital re-admissions and to treat effectively life-threatening situations in certain categories of chronic patients. Higher level of acceptability and usability are achieved when users are involved in the testing stage prior to the release of the device and/or the features and terms of use are clearly described to patients and carers. In addition to the effective treatment of life-threatening conditions, wearable devices are also proved to be more accurate than clinical assessment in estimating the risk of falls in chronic patients, thus improving safety in the home care setting. Regardless of their features, wearable devices are yet to be used by both healthcare professionals and patients on a large scale. More studies need to be undertaken to understand how these useful technologies can be integrated into the healthcare system and how clinical data can be flawlessly shared among patients and healthcare professionals.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Keywords: Wearable devices, Chronic conditions, Chronic patients, Quality of Life, Safety, Hospital re-admission prevention
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (for research post September 2011)
Depositing User: Dr. Antonio Bonacaro
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 13:46
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2018 10:17
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702760

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