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Title: Practical issues arising from the use of telemedicine applications : an evaluation of equipment used for colour imaging in teledermatology, automated weight monitoring and patient-operated 12-lead ECG recording in arrhythmia
Author: Johnston, Glenis
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Bucks New University
Date of Award: 2012
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Three telemedicine applications which depend on relatively simple telephone technology to transfer data in the care of patients managing chronic conditions at home are investigated in order to evaluate their application from the users’ perspectives. Part one provides an evaluation of four mobile cameraphones, of varying quality, such as those commonly used to photograph patients for remote diagnosis. The cameraphones are compared with a digital camera, two videophones and an ISDN6 conferencing facility, in their ability to replicate colour and shape. The effects of uploading the images to a laptop computer and of transferring an image by MSN messaging are also evaluated. Part two provides an evaluation of electronic weighing scales connected via a wireless gateway to a landline telephone for the purpose of remote weight monitoring in patients with chronic heart failure. Self-reported experiences of patients, carers and specialist nurses are explored and outcomes compared with previously published opinion. The idiosyncratic nature of health care is highlighted as a main factor in the success or failure of the system. The third application is a patient-operated 12-lead ECG unit which transmits data via a home landline to a call centre, where it is displayed as an ECG trace and a report is given by specialist clinicians. Self-reported experiences of patients with arrhythmia reveal systematic phenomena which hinder the effectiveness of the device and which are related to human, not technological, failings. ECG traces obtained by unskilled lay persons on paediatric patients are compared with the ECG traces obtained by skilled and experienced paediatric nurses on the same patients. The results show that in the case of the cameraphones the technology is less accurate than normally assumed. In the case of the weight monitoring and ECG equipment however it is more usually human factors which cause a disappointing outcome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Buckinghamshire New University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available