An unusual way of aiding care for CHF patients has been devised by a group from Johns Hopkins University. The care involves patients using a Wii gaming console with a Home Automated Telemanagement (HAT) system.
The system questions patients to monitor symptoms, weight changes and quality of life whilst educating about their condition. All the system needs is the Nintendo Wii console with an active Internet connection.
The system has been designed to be as user friendly as possible allowing patients with very basic knowledge of computer gaming consoles to use the HAT system.
After the system has asked questions about the patient’s condition it issues an action plan zone to the patient advising them of what to do to maintain this zone. This comes in the form of advice on living healthily and reminding patients to take their medications correctly.
The hope with this technology is to aid physicians to get feedback from reluctant patients on their current condition and to get more frequent day-to-day feedback. It is emphasized that physician visits would still be important for patient care.
The system is primarily designed to allow the patient to monitor their health frequently whilst educating them about their condition with the intention of increasing condition awareness and quality of life.
The system has not as yet undergone clinical trials to establish how effective it is. However, can a system that allows patients to learn and give feedback to health care professionals more often be a bad device? The main question that springs to mind is the cost barrier of giving/getting these systems to patients and whether or not they would use the system regularly enough to fulfill its purpose.
The full article can be found at ieeexplore.ieee.org