Robab Abdolkhani, Ann Borda, Kathleen Gray

What’s the research –
To be considered fit for use in clinical care, health data needs to meet quality requirements, and data generated in the context of remote patient monitoring are not exempt. Since patients share the responsibility for ensuring the quality of data during their flow from patient to the clinical setting, managing its quality is of great importance. This study aimed to systematically review the literature on the quality management of patient generated health data (PGHD) from wearable medical devices when used to monitor patients remotely.

Why it’s important –
At present, there is no established way to assess the quality of data collected from outpatient medical wearables when used within clinical settings. There is no systematic method to map how data from such devices are transferred, analysed, and used in clinical care. Also, there is a lack of understanding within the health informatics field about how the clinical information system and the technology it uses, and the patients and staff working within the system, may affect the quality of data collected in this way.
So, the present study aimed to address this knowledge gap by examining how aspects of data quality were considered in the literature on remote patient monitoring using medical wearables.

What have we learned –
Despite the growth in the use of wearable medical devices in remote patient monitoring, a review of the literature suggested there is a lack of guidance in managing the quality of patient-generated health data.
The quality of data capture by wearable medical devices in the context of remote monitoring has not been considered fully according to our systematic review. Future research must explore the quality of PGHD in real-world remote monitoring to ensure the socio-technical factors potentially affecting quality are considered. Recommendations for good practice, aligned with this evidence, are needed to guide improvements in data quality management.

Who should read this paper –
This is relevant for healthcare consumers and their treating clinicians, as well as technical and administrative staff within the healthcare organisations with remote patient monitoring programs, who are reliant on good quality PGHD to improve healthcare quality outcomes. These stakeholders need to work together to establish systems to manage the quality of PGHD from wearable medical devices in remote monitoring programs. Also, the current study provides the wearable medical device manufacturers the opportunity to consider various issues that lead to re-design their products or improve the educational materials to be compliant with the clinical guidelines for better and more effective use of the devices.

To read the entire journal article, click here.

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Data quality management in using wearable medical devices needs further scrutiny