The ongoinging demographic change will increase the demands on health care with an increase of old people suffering from long-term conditions in need of care. One way of meeting this increasing demand is to combine the use of modern technology and the involvement of patients by letting patients monitor their health themselves. The use of patient-generated health data (PGHD) can benefit both patients and the health care and is an area that is being studied internationally. In this thesis work, two parts of the area of using PGHD in health care have been studied. First eleven professionals from the field of health care (both medical professionals, strategists and project leaders) were interviewed regarding their opinions on PGHD. They were generally positive to the phenomena and mentioned several types of measurements they found to be suited for PGHD. Among these measurement types were blood pressure, weight, blood glucose, electrocardiogram (ECG), peak expiratory flow (PEF), blood oxygen saturation and a variety of blood tests.
The professionals found the greatest benets of PGHD to be the increased freedom and quality of life it offers to patients and the increased engagement to their own care it may lead to. The greatest concerns were related to technology problems and the patients using the measurement devices incorrectly.
The second part of the work investigated how measurements of weight, blood pressure and ECG would be transferred from the device used by the patient to the electronic health record (EHR) in a standardized way. For the transfer being standardized, the study followed the Continua design guidelines (CDG), which are based on international standards and aim to achieve plug-and-play interoperability among health care devices and systems.
This part of the study was carried out by studying the CDG documents as well as the standards to which they refer. The measurement data from the three device types were all described to be handled as numeric values, but in different formats. The weight is a single value, the blood pressure is a compound of values: systolic, diastolic and mean arterial pressure, and the ECG is an array of values. All measurement data is contained in a specic message together with additional data such as device type, device manufacturer, a reference ID and the date and time of the measurement. The data message is transferred from the measurement device to an application hosting device (AHD) with either a touch area network interface (using Near-Field Communications), personal area network interface (using USB or Bluetooth communication) or local area network interface (using ZigBee communication). From the AHD the data transfer chain continues until the data reaches the EHR.