IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 9806: Improving Healthy Aging by Monitoring Patients` Lifestyle through a Wearable Device: Results of a Feasibility Study (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Population aging is related to a huge growth in healthcare and welfare costs. Therefore, wearable devices could be strategic for minimizing years of disability in old age and monitoring patients` lifestyles and health. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of using smart devices to monitor patients` physical activity in a primary care setting. To assess the acceptance of this novel technology from the point of view of both patients and healthcare professionals, two questionnaires (one paper-based and one ex-novo developed) were administered to 11 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a non-compliant behavior towards the therapeutic indications of their general practitioner (GP). Seven participants would continue to use a wearable activity tracker to monitor their health. We observed that 75% of patients reported a device`s characteristics satisfaction level of over 80% of the total score assigned to this dimension. No differences were observed in the questionnaire`s scores between the two professionals categories (GPs and nurses). Three dimensions (equipment characteristics, subjective norm, perceived risks, perceived ease-of-use and facilitating conditions) correlated > 0.5 with the device`s acceptability level. Some weak correlations were observed between healthcare professionals` perception and patients` parameters, particularly between the dimensions of collaboration and web interface ease-of-use and patients` median number of steps and hours of sleep. In conclusion, despite the limited number of subjects involved, a good acceptance level towards these non-medical devices was observed, according to both patients` and healthcare professionals` impressions.