MedGUIDE evaluation preparations

[By Sotia Nicolaou, Oct 10]

MedGUIDE blog post

During January 2019, the project’s consortium will test MedGUIDE system in home setting environment for the first time.  Nine older adults with mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia (primary target group) who deal with polypharmacy issues (use 5 or more medicines per day) will be able to test the MedGUIDE system at home for 14 days. During the pilot phase, informal caregivers and healthcare professionals (secondary group) who are responsible for caring of older adults with dementia will, also, test the system for the same period of time. The pilot trials will be implemented in all three end-user organisations’ countries – the Netherlands, Norway and Cyprus.

For the first pilot trial, the MedGUIDE system, will include motion sensors, door sensors and one bed sensor which will provide information on indoor mobility of the older person and the time spent outdoors as well as their toilet use, and sleeping and eating patterns.. Moreover, a screen will be placed in the older adult’s home displaying the MedGUIDE platform, through which the individual will be reminded of his/her medication, appointments and will be able to report his/her psychological and physical status.

During the pilot trial the older adult will be visited by a project’s team member several times, according to the protocol developed for the specific task. At first the project team member will arrange an appointment with the individual in order to place the MedGUIDE system (mentioned above).System function and sensors’ use will be explained thoroughly to the participants (older adult with dementia and his/her informal caregiver), as well as, is the required actions from them during those 14 days.  On the 8th day of the pilot phase, the project team will make a second visit to ensure that everything works as expected and that the older adult feels comfortable with the MedGUIDE system. At the end of the first pilot phase, during the final visit (14th day) the older adult will provide his/her feedback through3 short questionnaires. The questionnaires assess the system’s usability (SUS questionnaire), the performance and effort expectancy of the older adult, the social influence, the facilitating conditions and hedonic motivation (UTAUT2 questionnaire). Finally, during the feedback session the older person will be also asked to provide feedback on the usefulness of the functions that the MedGUIDE platform offers. A similar procedure will be followed for the secondary group as well. However, the tertiary group (General Practitioners and pharmacists) will test the MedGUIDE system separately. This group will most probably be incorporated in the whole testing system during the second pilot phase in which a more integrated prototype will be ready for testing and evaluation by the participants.

Conclusively, the first pilot phase will illustrate the usability of the system in real environments as well as the amendments and improvements that have to be made so as to meet the needs of the three target groups. This process will result in the improvement of the MedGUIDE system and provide some insight for better preparation for the second and longer pilot phase in real environments.