May 10, 2022

Making Remote Measurement Technology Work in Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy and Depression: Survey of Healthcare Professionals

Abstract found in DocWire News

BACKGROUND: Epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS) and depression are long term, central nervous system disorders which have a significant impact on everyday life. Evaluating symptoms of these conditions is problematic and typically involves repeated visits to a clinic. Remote measurement technology (RMT), consisting of smartphone apps and wearables, may offer a way to improve upon existing methods of managing these conditions. The present study aimed to establish the practical requirements that would enable clinical integration of data from patients’ RMT, according to healthcare professionals.

METHODS: This paper reports findings from an online survey of 1006 healthcare professionals currently working in the care of people with epilepsy, MS or depression. The survey included questions on types of data considered useful, how often data should be collected, the value of RMT data, preferred methods of accessing the data, benefits and challenges to RMT implementation, impact of RMT data on clinical practice, and requirement for technical support. The survey was presented on the JISC online surveys platform.

RESULTS: Among this sample of 1006 healthcare professionals, respondents were positive about the benefits of RMT, with 73.2% indicating their service would be likely or highly likely to benefit from the implementation of RMT in patient care plans. The data from patients’ RMT devices should be made available to all nursing and medical team members and could be reviewed between consultations where flagged by the system. However, results suggest it is also likely that RMT data would be reviewed in preparation for and during a consultation with a patient. Time to review information is likely to be one of the greatest barriers to successful implementation of RMT in clinical practice.

CONCLUSIONS: While further work would be required to quantify the benefits of Remote measurement technology (RMT) in clinical practice, the findings from this survey suggest that a wide array of clinical team members treating epilepsy, MS and depression would find benefit from RMT data in the care of their patients. Findings presented could inform the implementation of RMT and other digital interventions in the clinical management of a range of neurological and mental health conditions.