Qualitative investigation into a wearable system for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: the stakeholders' perspective.

OBJECTIVES: To ascertain the stakeholders' views and devise recommendations for further stages of the Wearable Sensing and Smart Cloud Computing for Integrated Care to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Patients with Co-morbidities (WELCOME) system development. This system aims to create a wearable vest to monitor physiological signals for patients concerned incorporating an inhaler adherence monitoring, weight, temperature, blood pressure and glucose metres, and a mobile health application for communication with healthcare professionals (HCPs).

DESIGN: A study of qualitative data derived from focus groups and semistructured interviews.

SETTING: 4 participating clinical sites in Greece, the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands.

PARTICIPANTS: Purposive sampling was used to recruit 32 patients with COPD with heart failure, diabetes, anxiety or depression, 27 informal carers and 23 HCPs from 4 European Union (EU) countries for focus groups and interviews.

RESULTS: Most patients and HCPs described the WELCOME system as 'brilliant and creative' and felt it gave a sense of safety. Both users and HCPs agreed that the duration and frequency of vest wear should be individualised as should the mobile application functions. The parameters and frequency of monitoring should be personalised using a multidisciplinary approach. A 'traffic light' alert system was proposed by HCPs for abnormal results. Patients were happy to take actions in response.

CONCLUSIONS: WELCOME stakeholders provided valuable views on the development of the system, which should take into account patient's individual comorbidities, circumstances and concerns. This will enable the development of the individualised system in each member state concerned.