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Mobile technologies for chronic condition management. / Thomas Owen

Swansea University Author: Thomas, Owen

Abstract

The management of long term chronic conditions is a complex and challenging task. The process relies on individuals engaging in regular recording of factors that affect their health. Yet currently, the mobile tools that people carry with them are not being fully utilised to assist in this process. T...

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Published: 2015
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa42665
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Abstract: The management of long term chronic conditions is a complex and challenging task. The process relies on individuals engaging in regular recording of factors that affect their health. Yet currently, the mobile tools that people carry with them are not being fully utilised to assist in this process. This Thesis reports on research that has been completed to understand the role that mobile technologies can have in supporting people with chronic conditions. An individual engaging in personal monitoring is concerned with the data they collect, not the process used to capture the data. The results of the research conducted contribute to an advancement of knowledge around how mobile technologies can assist in personal reflection on health information to provide greater understanding of chronic disease management This understanding of the role of reflection in chronic condition management can then be used as a platform to improve the mobile interventions in future implementations. These findings are arrived at by conducting an initial investigation into the usage of existing health monitoring devices and an evaluation of these devices is detailed. The results of this early work suggests there exists a gap between real practice and the role that mobile technologies can play in assisting with the process. A deeper understanding of the management practices of people with diabetes is then achieved through a set of interviews with individuals with diabetes. The findings then define a model of chronic disease management, named the 'Diabetes Management Cycle.' Following the definition of the cycle, a mobile application was implemented and deployed during a four week evaluation with individuals with type 1 diabetes. This system was designed to support existing management practices and implemented simple methods of information capture. A second application was then developed to enable increased monitoring and subsequent reflection amongst individuals with cardiovascular conditions. The application was deployed in a six week in-situ evaluation and it was discovered a personalised 'tagging' mechanism allowed for the discovery of patterns affecting health. Based on the findings of the studies, the Thesis concludes by presenting definitions of ready- to-hand in the short- and long-term contexts of mobile health management. These ready-to-hand guidelines provide a platform for future research projects to build upon.
Keywords: Computer science.;Health care management.
College: College of Science