The Mayo Clinic’s recent iPad trial for cardiac surgery patients, which MobiHealthNews first wrote about in February, has received a good deal of attention forusing Fitbit activity monitors in a clinical setting. But Dr. David J. Cook, who led the study, says the real innovation of the study is unprecedented levels of patient engagement — in patients he repeatedly described as “70-year-olds on morphine.”
“Patient participation is completely dependent on usability,” Cook said at a session at the mHealth Summit near Washington, DC. “Healthcare technology and tools are not meaningful unless they’re integrated with care plans and expectations, and that’s dependent on delivering knowledge to patients. Once you have a usable tool, you can help self-assessment and reporting, data acquisition and aggregation is meaningful, and clinically meaningful algorithms can impact patient outcomes.”
In the study, 149 cardiac patients were given iPads with a specially created app preloaded. The app, called My Care, interacted with patients bi-directionally, giving them a to-do list for the day and also assessing their mobility (both self-reported and via Fitbit data) and pain.