User Experience Design of a Virtual Hospital: Increasing self-care through measurement and visualization of medical data

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Henning, Olof
Thörn, Christopher
For people living with chronic diseases; hospital visits and treatment plans are a part of everyday life. At the same time, Swedish healthcare struggles with limited resources and an aging population. To deal with these issues, Region Halland is developing the Virtual Hospital, a digital healthcare system. The system allows patients to measure vital parameters with their own equipment at home, and the data is synchronized to the regional database. This enables hospitals and healthcare centers to access the data so that they can monitor the patients remotely and make more precise assessments. In this thesis, the possibilities of making the Virtual Hospital accessible for patients was explored. A stakeholder analysis workshop with different professions connected to the Virtual Hospital project was made, to investigate who is involved in the system and how they can benefit from it. Patients with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were selected as the target group, and their treatment process was investigated by interviewing COPD nurses. Based on this, an interface for the Virtual Hospital aimed at patients was developed. The parts of the treatment process that were found suitable to perform by the patient themselves were implemented as functions in the interface. User experience design guidelines for the target group and design principles for consumer applications were used to make the interface understandable and recognizable. A clickable wireframe version of the interface was created and tested in a small user test, to evaluate the design and navigation. The interface created in this project is designed to be the link between the patient and the hospital. It guides the patient through the routine of measuring vital parameters and filling out forms for COPD Assessment Tests (CAT), and the data and trends can be easily overviewed. The patient can also access their rehabilitation plan and get reminders for medication and exercise. If questions arise, medical professionals can be easily contacted for health advice and follow ups. The hope is that the Virtual Hospital will make the patients more independent and give them a higher quality of life. This is only the first step in the development of an application for the Virtual Hospital, but the project has shown that the possibilities of involving the patient in the digital healthcare system are great. There seems to be a demand for increased self-care, and the patients and medical professionals involved in the project have shown a high interest in the technology. Therefore, the Virtual Hospital application should be subject to further development.
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