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Clinician perceptions of a prototype wearable exercise biofeedback system for orthopaedic rehabilitation: a qualitative exploration

Authors: 
Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
Abstract: 
Objectives This study explores the opinions of orthopaedic healthcare professionals regarding the opportunities and challenges of using wearable technology in rehabilitation. It continues to assess the perceived impact of an exemplar exercise biofeedback system that incorporates wearable sensing, involving the clinician in the user-centred design process, a valuable step in ensuring ease of implementation, sustained engagement and clinical relevance. Design This is a qualitative study consisting of one-to-one semi-structured interviews, including a demonstration of a prototype wearable exercise biofeedback system. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed, with thematic analysis conducted of all transcripts. Setting The study was conducted in the orthopaedic department of an acute private hospital. Participants Ten clinicians from a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals involved in the orthopaedic rehabilitation pathway participated in the study. Results Participants reported that there is currently a challenge in gathering timely and objective data for the monitoring of patients in orthopaedic rehabilitation. While there are challenges in ensuring reliability and engagement of biofeedback systems, clinicians perceive significant value in the use of wearable biofeedback systems such as the exemplar demonstrated for use following total knee replacement. Conclusions Clinicians see an opportunity for wearable technology to continuously track data in real-time, and feel that feedback provided to users regarding exercise technique and adherence can further support the patient at home, although there are clear design and implementation challenges relating to ensuring technical accuracy and tailoring rehabilitation to the individual. There was perceived value in the prototype system demonstrated to participants which supports the ongoing development of such exercise biofeedback platforms
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
10.1136/ bmjopen-2018-026326
Publication Status: 
Published
Date Accepted for Publication: 
Tuesday, 2 October, 2018
Publication Date: 
25/10/2018
Journal: 
Rehabilitation medicine
Research Group: 
Institution: 
National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
Open access repository: 
No