eHealth on the Way to mHealth – 24-hours Ambulatory Assessment Under Real-Life Conditions
- Telemedical systems are able to assess complex health related parameters and to collect important health related information
- A state of the art-system needs to combine eHealth and mHealth elements and work as distributed system with sensor elements, communication systems as well as complex information systems
- Users’ compliance is an important issue for the applicability of the ehealth system. Different applications of the system will be shown.
Telemedical devices as instruments to improve health service delivery are an important appliance for the quality intensification of health care. Ambulatory monitoring systems provide complex insight into the subject’s health status. In the course of the presented work, a sensor based system for the acquisition of multiparametric data was developed and implemented prototypically. The mobile monitoring solution allows the continuous and wireless assessment of physical and psychomental workload in everyday life situations and provides place independance, wireless communication and multiparametric data acquisition.
The core structure of the developed system is based on a sensor electronic module that measures objective data such as cardiopulmonary function, skin temperature, body movement and position. Linked with subjective data and information on current occupations captured on a mobile handheld, all data are sent in real-time to a medical server. Afterwards all data are stored by a process management system consisting of a data base, a process manager and a web service. The process database handles the developed expert models for individual stress and fitness evaluation and delivers results from the primary data. The entire system is embedded on a Telematics Platform provided by the company Infokom (Neubrandenburg, Germany) where results are sent in real-time. The Telematics Platform warrants a secure data transport, data storage and an access control to the data.
Ambulatory assessment that combines subjective ratings on perceived load with objective measurements is a highly complex approach of data acquisition that requires not only a sophisticated system but also a good compliance and motivation of participants. Follow-up surveys are an important mean to gather information on practicability, acceptance, compliance, wearing comfort or the like. For this reason, a post-monitoring questionnaire was developed on a digital evaluation system allocated by the University of Rostock, Germany. Evaluations revealed a very good practicability of the developed system under real-life conditions. Participants did not show problems in handling the system and compliance in the sense of response rate was very high even though participants were not recompensated for their attendance. However, the choice of the optimal time-frame for self-reports has to be taken in account, especially in long-term studies.
The developed system has proven its feasibility and practicability not only in everyday life but also in concrete fields of work and speaks in favor of the general acceptance of ambulatory assessment in preventive medicine and psychophysiology.
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