How can patients with a chronic disease be supported using ICT means?
Apart from clinical pathways that need to be automated and for which telemedicine system are being developed, one of the challenges for patients with a chronic disease is to manage their disease themselves. This includes managing lifestyle changes and receive support from peer patients and informal caregivers. As an example, patients with a chronic cardiovascular disease, may need to change their physical activity habits, and they need to adhere to a strict medication regime. Current e-support groups focus on information support and exchange, and on emotional support. Our focus is on developing ICT mediated peer support that assist patients in performing the acts that are part of the changes to be realized. This includes: development and testing of systems to support remote group exercises for COPD patients; measuring daily physical activity and sharing activity performance with peers (and health professionals) and developing feedback mechanisms. The ICT mediated solutions need to be flexible and robust, and the human users need to able to use it without requiring technological knowledge. This means that the components we develop and test must be easy and intuitive to use, and these components must be able to adapt to the user and technology environment in which these are used, hence they must be autonomic.