User involvement is an important phase in the development of new solutions in healthcare. A digital health solution should fit into the patient’s life, should provide value for the patient, and should be easy to use. This is why the input from both end-users and clinicians is a crucial part of the design phase in the PhaseV decentralised trials innovation project, where Monsenso and partners will develop a range of new digital health solutions for future clinical trials.
“It is important that we get the users’ perspective already while we design the solution. We need to know what their everyday life is like as patients, and when and how it creates value for the individuals to use our solution. Therefore, the phase of user involvement is important, and it is equally important that we get help from research to qualify and nuance users’ input”, says Thomas Lethenborg, CEO of Monsenso.
PhaseV is an interdisciplinary project based on citizen-generated data. The project will develop three apps for patients suffering from cost-intensive chronic diseases. The three apps are developed on top of an existing solution from Monsenso and address:
- diabetic foot ulcers, and
- chronic urticaria.
The three apps will collect data in real time and show the effect of a given treatment – also between consultations.
Researchers are an important intermediary between users and the company
Monsenso is assisted by researchers from Aarhus University and the Research Unit for General Practice (FEAP) in collecting and analyzing user feedback. For the digital health solution for diabetic foot ulcers, a group of interviewers visited both the Wound Healing Center at Bispebjerg Hospital and Steno Diabetes Center Aarhus. Here, they have been in dialogue with almost 30 patients and a number of clinicians and home care employees.
The research team has also visited the section for chronic urticaria at Bispebjerg Hospital, where they have been in dialogue with several patients and clinicians, explains Christa Thomsen, Professor at the Department of Business Administration, Aarhus University.
“We need a lot of data from both patients and caregivers to get an idea of what solution is needed and how it should work. Patients’ and employees’ experiences should form the basis for the information we pass on to the company so they can develop the most valuable solution“, explains Christa Thomsen.
Later this spring, the team will delve into user involvement for Monsenso’s third app aimed at citizens with obesity.
Interviews, observations, and workshops
Researchers have, among other things, developed question guides, which are used as a guideline for interviews with patients and staff. In addition, the interview team has witnessed a number of consultations, which have given them insight into patients’ daily lives with their condition (in this case, with diabetic foot ulcers) and clinicians’ daily routines.
“The solution to be developed must help ensure the best personal treatment for each patient. Therefore, it is important for us to know what information the caregivers need and how this data should be collected to provide value for both caregivers and citizens“, explains Ida Hestbjerg, research assistant at the Research Unit for General Practice.
Researchers’ data provides valuable knowledge
Emil Meyland Kortsen is responsible for developing the three apps for patients with diabetic foot ulcers, obesity, and chronic urticaria, respectively, and he describes user input as indispensable.
“We have received extremely valuable knowledge from the research team about users’ and clinicians’ needs and desires for the new solution. As a developer, I can present the possibilities that exist in the technology, but I need qualified sparring from users, healthcare professionals, and research to be able to refine the drafts. The task now is to become even more specific about the different functions and to continue to optimize the solution,” says Emil Meyland Kortsen, Product Owner at Monsenso.
This article is a translation of an original Danish version written by Lotte Overbjerg, 01st March 2023.
Monsenso is an innovative technology company offering a digital health solution used for decentralised trials, remote patient monitoring and treatment support. Our mission is to contribute to improved health for more people at lower costs by supporting treatment digitally and leveraging patient-reported outcomes data. Our solution helps optimise the treatment and gives a detailed overview of an individual’s health through the collection of outcome, adherence, and behavioural data. It connects individuals, carers, and health care providers to enable personalised treatment, remote care, and early intervention. We collaborate with health and social care, pharmaceuticals, and leading researcher worldwide in our endevaours to deliver solutions that fit into the life of patients and health care professionals. To learn more visit www.monsenso.com.