Care and Lifestyle Enhancement

Quality Healthcare Delivery for the Elderly: Consent-taking in a Cataract Surgery Clinic in Singapore

Quality healthcare delivery for the elderly must be supported not only by advance biomedical research but also in-depth investigations of language and communication in clinical settings. Obstacles to communication between clinicians and patients have been found to limit the outcome of consultations in terms of diagnosis, treatment and patient satisfaction. While biomedical research has been progressing in leaps and bounds, little is known about how clinicians and elderly patients actually interact and communicate in medical consultations in Singapore.

This study proposes to use conversation analytic (CA) methodology to investigate clinician-elderly patient interaction in Singapore. Given the paucity of such research, this project offers the potential to deepen our understanding of the interaction between clinicians and older patients in an environment where language and communication barriers are inherent, as well as the potential to enhance the transmission of timely medical information and advice and the potential to promote the interpersonal dimensions of the partnership.​

Developing a global assessment framework for health apps targeted at elderly users with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

PI: Prof Josip Car

The non-device health apps marketplace is a dynamic but confusing environment, which does not help the adoption of apps. The development of app assessment criteria that support evidence-based self-management of diabetes in this project will support industry, app developers, patients and health professionals in developing and using higher quality apps that are more aligned to intended purposes. Apps have the potential to bring convenience to self-care in patients with chronic illnesses, which may bring great benefits to population health at lower costs. Despite their promise, health apps usage is not included in national chronic care or diabetes guidelines worldwide due to challenges in their integration with the current health system, concerns of data privacy, app selection difficulty and undetermined reliability of the apps.

Our objective is to prevent harmful health outcomes for the aging population due to the inadvertent use of low quality diabetes health apps. To this end, we aim to develop a robust assessment framework to investigate the quality of health apps with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) as a use case.

The deliverables include:

 framework to assess the quality of health apps targeted at elderly users with T2DM for diabetes self-management including functionalities addressing medication adherence; which could be applicable to other chronic diseases;

 a shortlist of diabetes self-management apps which can be recommended for patient use;

 generic methodology for apps assessment using diabetes self-management apps as an exemplar and a testbed;

 technical report for Singapore health agencies; and

 software to support curation of health apps for self-management of diabetes and other diseases

Findings from this research can be used to:

 inform development of a blueprint or specifications for further development by establishing quality standards to guide health apps developers in Singapore and elsewhere;

 encourage the dissemination and implementation of high quality diabetes self-management apps which educate patients, encourage adherence, improve disease management and inter-operate with other healthcare information systems;

 provide a generic assessment structure and methodology that can be extended to other disease conditions, or be further refined to target specific subgroups of patients; and

 inform local and international policymakers about the best approach to local regulation and promotion of health apps into routine clinical care.