Home and Community Care Digest
Methods: The authors developed a generic information centre to allow for cellular phones to interact with the pilot initiative, the Citizen Health System project (CHS). The CHS project was conceived to meet home health care needs of patients suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes, and congestive heart failure.
An interactive system that can be used by either patient and/or care provider was developed using various JAVA and wireless application protocol technologies. Patients entered pre-determined physiological measures (e.g., weight, blood pressure), answered simple Yes/No questions regarding their condition, listened to/or browsed educational material about their disease, and were able to leave voice messages for their physician. Physicians were able to use their mobile phone to access information about their patients stored at the CHS. Experience using this system is presented.
Findings: Some of the limitations of the system were the small screens and generally limited capabilities of mobile phones used to access information. While the ability to access or enter information was very convenient, information needed to be transformed in such a way that it is presentable to the smaller formats found on mobile phones. As a result, there is a need to restructure medical information in order to convey the largest possible information to the user in a small browsing screen. Technical issues related to using wireless technology standards were encountered.
Since wireless, cellular networks can be found virtually everywhere, patients were free to input information at their convenience, provided he/she has the necessary devices needed to make physiological measurements.
Conclusions: Wireless mobile technologies are not advanced enough to provide the ease of use required by patients and care providers. Targeted and specialized applications that collect and/or transmit limited data may be ideally suited to use advanced cellular technologies.
Reference: Maglaveras N, Koutkias V, Chouvarda I, Goulis DG, Avramides A, Adamidis D, Louridas G, Balas EA. "Home care delivery through themobile telecommunications platform: The Citizen Health System (CHS) perspective". International Journal of Medical Informatics, 2000; 68, 99-111.
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