Title: ‘WOUND PATIENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF AND ACCEPTANCE TOWARD USING WEARABLE SENSOR TECHNOLOGY IN WOUND CARE; IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH, POLICY AND MARKET INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE’
Aim: To understand the perceptions, attitudes, concerns and potential acceptance of patients with chronic wounds toward wearable sensor technology in terms of their application to wound management.
Method: An exploratory qualitative descriptive study design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients with chronic wounds of the foot and lower limb, across three clinical sites. Questions were developed from concepts identified in user acceptance theories and models within the literature. The audio-tapes were transcribed verbatim and thematic content analysis was performed.
Results / Discussion: Twenty-three interviews were conducted. Four themes were identified: First ; the element of personal contact in terms of the potential of change in social interactions between patient and clinician with the implementation of wearable sensor devices. Second; relates to identifying the medical need for wound diagnostics in terms of early detection and prevention of adverse events, as well as monitoring and feelings of reassurance. Third; deals with perceptions of the practicalities of day to day living with wearable sensor devices, such as bathing and ambulation concerns. Fourth; presents the concerns of patients in terms of the trialability nature of wearable sensor devices.
Conclusion: Most participants indicated feelings of concern toward accepting wearable sensor technology as part of wound management and the potential loss of contact with their attending clinician. The findings contribute to understanding technology acceptance in wound patients and aim to open communication channels between users of the technology, researchers, policy and market innovators in wound care.