Work Package 4: Personalised e-Health

WP4 will investigate how to translate the findings of WP1-3 into tangible, meaningful and impactful tools for daily life that support self-management of health in the home environment. WP4 specifically studies how to support older adults in healthier behaviour in four domains: sleep, cognitive training, healthy food intake and physical activity. The final goal for WP4 is to develop and deliver a home kit that supports older adults to easily and acceptably assess the predictors of decline from WP3 at home and to better understand how their behaviour can influence these predictors.

The development of eHealth tools is often technology-driven with a focus on functional goals (e.g. losing weight; lowering cholesterol). For the long-term use and acceptance of the home kit that is necessary to prevent cognitive decline in elderly we will adopt a human centered design approach that focuses more on goals meaningful to elderly people (e.g. live independently; feel safe; enjoy social relations). Furthermore, behaviour change techniques known to be effective in the ageing population will be integrated in the home -toolkit and evaluated in a real-life setting.

Design / methods

WP4 will perform qualitative research into stakeholder requirements by interviewing target users from WP1 regarding new tools and their experiences with the FINGER intervention.

A human-centred design (HCD) and co-creation approach will be used to support an iterative cycle of development of the home-toolkit. In this approach we will make use focus groups, develop prototypes and involve older adults in short, formative evaluations.

Finally, validation studies with user groups, ranging from good to bad responders (based on WP2), will be performed in living labs and real life.

Societal relevance of outcomes

In a healthcare system that is under pressure and that puts an increasing focus on self-management it is of utmost importance to study how ehealth tools can indeed provide adequate support. A personalized approach that integrates easy to use and understand technology, motivational techniques with a supporting social network is necessary.

WP4 seeks to bring the knowledge and insights from multiple WPs to people’s home environment, supporting their self-management. Co-creation of which markers should be provided and how – based on qualitative and living lab research – will safeguard implementation in the Dutch society. Currently, users quickly abandon eHealth tools after limited use. However, by co-creating the tools with the end users, further researching user requirements, and using meta-strategies, the use and impact of eHealth across a diverse population will greatly improve. Translation of insights on cognitive functioning into digital self-management tools targeted at the Dutch population will allow fast scale-up of results, not requiring large investments in terms of finance and/or effort.

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