HumanInsight Remote Monitoring of Colorectal Cancer Survivors Using a Smartphone App and Internet of Things-Based Device: Development and Usability Study
JMIR Cancer. 2023 Feb 15;9:e42250. doi: 10.2196/42250.
BACKGROUND: Patients with colorectal cancer who undergo surgery face many postoperative problems. These problems include the risk of relapse, side effects, and long-term complications.
OBJECTIVE: This study sought to design and develop a remote monitoring system as a technological solution for the postdischarge care of these patients.
METHODS: This research was conducted in 3 main steps: system feature extraction, system design, and evaluation. After feature extraction from a systematic review, the necessary features were defined by 18 clinical experts in Iran. In the next step, the architecture of the system was designed based on the requirements; the software and hardware parts of the system were embedded in the architecture, then the software system components were drawn using the unified modeling language diagrams, and the details of software system implementation were identified. Regarding the hardware design, different accessible hardware modules were evaluated, and suitable ones were selected. Finally, the usability of the system was evaluated by demonstrating it over a Skype virtual meeting session and using Nilsen's usability principles.
RESULTS: A total of 21 mandatory features in 5 main categories, including patient information registration, periodic monitoring of health parameters, education, reminders, and assessments, were defined and validated for the system. The software was developed using an ASP.Net core backend, a Microsoft SQL Server database, and an Ionic frontend alongside the Angular framework, to build an Android app. The user roles of the system included 3 roles: physicians, patients, and the system administrator. The hardware was designed to contain an Esp8266 as the Internet of Things module, an MLX90614 infrared temperature sensor, and the Maxim Integrated MAX30101 sensor for sensing the heartbeat. The hardware was designed in the shape of a wristband device using SolidWorks 2020 and printed using a 3D printer. The firmware of the hardware was developed in Arduino with the capability of firmware over the air. In evaluating the software system from the perspective of usability, the system received an average score of 3.8 out of 5 from 4 evaluators.
CONCLUSIONS: Sensor-based telemonitoring systems for patients with colorectal cancer after surgery are possible solutions that can make the process automatic for patients and caregivers. The apps for remote colorectal patient monitoring could be designed to be useful; however, more research regarding the developed system's implementation in clinic settings and hospitals is required to understand the probable barriers and limitations.
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