A Digital Health Service for Elderly People with Balance Disorders and Risk of Falling: A Design Science Approach

Andréa Gomes Martins Gaspar, Luís Velez Lapão

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this study, a design science research methodology was used aiming at designing, im-plementing and evaluating a digital health service to complement the provision of healthcare for elderly people with balance disorders and risk of falling. An explanatory sequential mixed methods study allowed to identify and explore the dissatisfaction with electronic medical records and the opportunity for using digital health solutions. The suggested recommendations helped to elaborate and develop “BALANCE”, a digital service implemented on the METHIS platform, which was re-cently validated for remote monitoring of chronic patients in primary healthcare. “BALANCE” pro-vides clinical and interactive data, questionnaire pre and post-balance rehabilitation, tutorial videos with balance exercises and patient-recorded videos of the exercises. This digital service was demon-strated, including five elderly patients with clinical recommendations for balance rehabilitation at home. Finally, the authors conducted two focus groups with the participants and their caregivers as well as with physicians. The focus groups aimed at exploring their satisfaction level, needs of adjustment in the “BALANCE” service and strategies for applicability. The digital healthcare service evaluation revealed a significant potential for clinical applicability of this digital solution for elderly people with balance disorders and risk of falling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1855
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Balance disorders
  • Digital health
  • EHealth
  • Elderly care
  • Falls
  • Healthy ageing

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