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What do patients want from eHealth?

Around a dozen patients with long term conditions were invited to the Nowgen Centre on Grafton Street to participate in a facilitated workshop. The session focused on how people live, work and travel while managing conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and patients receiving renal dialysis.

“User engagement is vital to set the terms for pre commercial procurement” said Dr P Hanmer, the person responsible for providing NHS engagement to companies based in the MedTECH Incubator, “it’s only by understanding how people want to use new technology and the benefits they perceive, that we can design products and services that people want to engage with.”

An overall message which came out of the sessions was that people see a role for new technology to enable them to take more control over managing their health and lifestyle. The ability to record symptoms and share them with clinicians electronically as well as obtaining information from the electronic patient record to more successfully manage treatments was a clear theme.

“I was interested in the way people wanted to use mobile devices, for example,  to manage their medicines and treatments, or manage reminders, perhaps to alert them to upcoming visits to the doctor or when they need to take medicines or renew prescriptions” said Dr Hanmer. “People want tools to help them manage their health and live a normal life. I think this could offer a new model for engagement with the healthcare system. The challenge, in a similar way to Facebook, will be to ensure that e-health enhances the clinician / patient interaction rather than replaces it.”

The results of the workshop will be shared with MedTECH incubator clients to stimulate innovative product development.

The patient workshop in full flow.

The patient workshop in full flow.

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