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International Journal of Telemedicine and Applications
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 104561, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/104561
Research Article

Technological Approaches to Remote Monitoring of Elderly People in Cardiology: A Usability Perspective

1Department of Information Engineering, Marche Polytechnic University, Via Brecce Bianche 12, 60131 Ancona, Italy
2Cardiology Operational Unit, INRCA Scientific Institute, Via della Montagnola 81, 60100 Ancona, Italy
3University Clinic of Cardiology at Torrette Hospital, Marche Polytechnic University, Via Conca 71, Ancona, Italy

Received 27 April 2012; Accepted 8 November 2012

Academic Editor: Zia Agha

Copyright © 2012 Susanna Spinsante et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Moving from the experience gained in home telemonitoring of elderly patients with Congestive Heart Failure, that confirmed a reduction of the rehospitalization rate and an improved monitoring of drugs assumption by the patients, this paper extends the evaluation of technological approaches for remote health monitoring of older adults. Focus of the evaluation is on telemedicine effectiveness and usability, either from a patient’s or a medical operator’s perspective. The evaluation has been performed by testing three remote health platforms designed according to different technological approaches, in a realistic scenario involving older adults and medical operators (doctors and nurses). The aim of the testing activity was not to benchmark a specific solution with respect to the others, but to evaluate the main positive and negative issues related to the system and service design philosophy each solution was built upon. Though preliminary, the results discussed in the paper can be used as a set of guidelines in the selection of proper technological equipments for services targeted to elderly users, from a usability perspective. These results need to be complemented with more focused discussions of the ethical, medical, and legal aspects of the use of technology in remote healthcare.