Development of an Automated Healthcare Kiosk for the Management of Chronic Disease Patients in the Primary Care Setting
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An increase in the prevalence of chronic disease has led to a rise in the demand for primary healthcare services in many developed countries. Healthcare technology tools may provide the leverage to alleviate the shortage of primary care providers. Here we describe the development and usage of an automated healthcare kiosk for the management of patients with stable chronic disease in the primary care setting. One-hundred patients with stable chronic disease were recruited from a primary care clinic. They used a kiosk in place of doctors’ consultations for two subsequent follow-up visits. Patient and physician satisfaction with kiosk usage were measured on a Likert scale. Kiosk blood pressure measurements and triage decisions were validated and optimized. Patients were assessed if they could use the kiosk independently. Patients and physicians were satisfied with all areas of kiosk usage. Kiosk triage decisions were accurate by the 2nd month of the study. Blood pressure measurements by the kiosk were equivalent to that taken by a nurse (p = 0.30, 0.14). Independent kiosk usage depended on patients’ language skills and educational levels. Healthcare kiosks represent an alternative way to manage patients with stable chronic disease. They have the potential to replace physician visits and improve access to primary healthcare. Patients welcome the use of healthcare technology tools, including those with limited literacy and education. Optimization of environmental and patient factors may be required prior to the implementation of kiosk-based technology in the healthcare setting.
KeywordsTele-health Telemedicine Technology Kiosk Primary care Chronic disease
The authors thank our collaborators Ronald Dixon from Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine, and Marc Filerman from Center for the Integration of Medicine and Technology (CIMIT), Boston, for their invaluable inputs and guidance with the study. We thank Tan Ngiap Chuan for helpful discussions; our study coordinators Susan Toh and Cheah Seng Lian; and our nurses Lee Yuet Lai, Woo Yuen Kau, Teo Sok Hoon, Munahwarah Bte Mokhtar and Pushpavalli Selayah from SingHealth Polyclinics for their immense support and contributions, without which this study would not have been possible. The kiosk was designed and fabricated by AIT Technologies Private Limited. This work was supported by an A*STAR-CIMIT commercialization project grant.
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