On 23 October, 2013, the half-time results of the research project for home treatment of patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency were demonstrated in the form of a role play. A number of situations were shown, in which a fictitious patient could get help and support from different care-givers. A combination of sensors, secure communication networks, the use of a touchscreen, a TV-screen, and video conference system makes it possible. The project, financed by VINNOVA, will end in the fall of 2014.
The patient in the role play carried out several physical measurements at home in front of the TV screen, such as measuring breathing volume and weight. The results were sent to a care-giver operator and, at the same time, shown to the patient. Using the touch screen, the patient could visualize different periods of time in order to find trends and discuss them with the care-giver.
Peter Ljungstrand at Interactive Institute Swedish shared the developmental efforts when designing different interfaces:
-We have been working with focus groups in order to understand the patient’s needs. At present, we develop and evaluate prototypes together with patients and nursing staff.
The use of video conferences is a central part of the solution. In another scene, the dialog between the physician and the patient was performed.
Michael Runold, physician at the Lung Clinic Karolinska Solna and part of the project, welcomes the new way of working:
-The treatment is trying to avoid what is called an exacerbation at home, i.e. a patient in a significant worse condition and in need of emergency treatment. So far, we have nine prioritized parameters for measurement: breathing frequency, movement, pulse, oxygen dosage, temperature, weight, blood pressure, the patient’s self-estimate questionnaire (CAT) and aeration.
In yet another scene, the patient conducted a training session in front of the TV screen, coached by a physiotherapist located in the other end of Sweden.
Per-Olof Sjöberg at SICS Swedish ICT and coordinator of the project specified the role of the solution in the treatment process:
-This is a support system for observation. We don’t make any automatic connections where the patient's data is transferred into other systems. If this is to be done, it has to be done by individual physicians.
Answering what will happen when the project ends in the fall of 2014, Per-Olof Sjöberg said:
-We either try to get funded by VINNOVA, or a company in the project will take on a greater responsibility. What lacks today, is somebody taking the larger work of integration. Apart from that, we have project members covering all parts.