The It’s Life care service is an innovative patient monitoring and feedback tool that helps COPD and diabetes patients to achieve a more active lifestyle under close guidance of their care providers. The It’s Life care service supports patients in the self-management of their chronic condition.
An active lifestyle: especially valuable for people with chronic conditions
Physical activity is important for a persons’ quality of life, especially for people suffering from chronic conditions like COPD or diabetes. Physical activity has shown to have a positive impact on chronic conditions, for example lowering the amount of complications, exacerbations, and required medication intake. Furthermore, physical activity leads to a positive mindset and energy level. For a patient it can be difficult to change their level of physical activity, since this is closely linked to an established lifestyle with a chronic condition. There are no means other than the care provider to support patients in self-managing a change towards becoming more active.
Care providers currently monitor a patient’s condition and counsel them in sessions being more active. Current approaches involve monitoring the subjective aspects of lifestyle. Providing regular feedback and assessing trends in peoples’ activity levels in their home environment is not possible however. Care providers need to spend valuable time on each patient visit to gather information and to perform tests to assess the desired level of physical activity for each individual patient. Close guidance of this approach results in potential increases of physical activity on a short notice. However, the longer-term methods / tools for increasing the level of physical activity are still limited. Especially people that suffer from chronic conditions need to be coached by care providers. COPD patients often suffer from shortness of breath and people with diabetes are often overweight, which makes increased physical activity difficult to accomplish. In order to create more physical activity it is important to stimulate patients in their self-management to support changes in peoples’ lifestyle that leads to health benefits on the long term.
Opportunities for improved care
The counselling role of the caretaker will improve when objective activity monitoring and regular feedback would be available. The quality of life and long-term prognosis of COPD and diabetes patients will improve with more physical activity.
It’s Life benefits
Trust-worthy: It’s Life provides objective and accurate data for both patients and caretakers.
User-friendly: All the applications have been thoroughly tested and found easy to use by both patients and care providers.
Long-term result: Preliminary study results show an increase in moderate and intense physical activity on a daily basis.
Cost-effective: Care providers can spend more time taking care of patients instead of gathering information or status of activity.
Towards self-management in chronic conditions
Using the It’s Life care service will help in improving the level of physical activity through lifestyle feedback. Coaching can be used to create a long-term improvement in the lifestyle of patients. Regular feedback and coaching about their physical activity helps in improving and maintaining a health lifestyle.
The It’s Life is different from other activity monitoring devices because of its medical-grade data and continuous connection with the careprovider. For careproviders it creates an efficient opportunity to support patients in their self-management to achieve a more active lifestyle.
* Smartphone application currently available on Android.
- Tailored e-health service, for care organizations
- Commercialization license
Maastricht University, School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI), Department of Health Services Research (HSR) and Lectoraat Technologie in de Zorg, Zuyd Hogeschool, Heerlen, under supervision of Prof. Dr. Luc de Witte
- Usability testing of a monitoring and feedback tool to stimulate physical activity – Van der weegen et al (2014)
- Study protocol BMC Family Practice – Verwey et al (2014)
- The development of a mobile monitoring and feedback tool to stimulate physical activity of people with a chronic disease in primary care – Van der weegen et al (2013)
- A Monitoring and Feedback Tool to Support Patients in Achieving a more Active Lifestyle – Verwey et al (2012)
- Get moving the practice nurse is watching you – Verwey et al (2012)
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