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An Acceptability Study Of A Personal Portable Device Storing Critical Health Information To Ensure Treatment Continuity Of Home-Dwelling Older Adults In Case Of A Disaster

Authors Hein Willius A, Torres Hidalgo M, Arroyo Zuñiga P, Quezada Venegas M, Arriagada Díaz C, Valenzuela Abarca E, San Martín Gutierrez E, Bedregal P

Received 4 June 2019

Accepted for publication 13 September 2019

Published 8 November 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1941—1949


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Andreas Hein Willius,1 Marisa Torres Hidalgo,2 Pablo Arroyo Zuñiga,1 Margarita Quezada Venegas,1 Christian Arriagada Díaz,3 Eduardo Valenzuela Abarca,4 Ernesto San Martín Gutierrez,5 Paula Bedregal6

1Project DEPPAS-FONDEF (ID17AM0038), Faculty of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile; 2Faculty of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile; 3School of Social Work, Faculty of Psychology, Universidad San Sebastián, Santiago, Chile; 4Department of Internal Medicine, Geriatric Program, Faculty of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile; 5Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Social Statistics, Faculty of Mathematics, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile; 6Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Chile

Correspondence: Andreas Hein Willius
Departamento de Salud Pública, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Diagonal Paraguay 362, Santiago, Región Metropolitana, Segundo Piso, Chile
Tel +569 5624 0699

Aims: DEPPAS (“Dispositivo Electrónico Personal y Portable en Salud” or Personal, Portable Electronic Health Device in English) is a portable device in form of a bracelet that allows storing electronic health records of older adults experiencing chronic illnesses. The device seeks to support the vital sustainability of older adults by storing critical health information when electronic or paper records have been lost as a consequence of a disaster. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to experience negative consequences in this context. The present study explores the end-user acceptability of DEPPAS in order to inform the next design stages of the device.
Methods: Twenty home-dwelling urban male and female older adults enrolled in a chronic health management program were invited to participate in two focus groups. A prototype of DEPPAS was presented and reactions to health service disruption scenarios were explored. Focus groups were transcribed. Content analysis based on the Technology Acceptance Model was conducted.
Results: Older adults are acutely aware of their vulnerable health status. Participants report overall positive reactions to DEPPAS. The device was associated with feelings of relief and an increased sense of control over their health management. DEPPAS is perceived as useful, usable, and safe. Even though concerns regarding confidentiality were raised, benefits are perceived as more relevant than potential risks. Participants agree that its usefulness could be extended beyond disaster situations to everyday health care management. Implications for future development and limitations are discussed.
Conclusion: The conceptual design DEPPAS shows a high level of acceptability by this end user and a high potential to be integrated with other complementary technologies (e.g. GPS, medication reminders) that could significantly contribute to improving health management in disaster situations.

Keywords: wearable health devices, portable electronic health records, acceptability, older adults

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