Sensors (Basel). 2023 Feb 24;23(5):2547. doi: 10.3390/s23052547.
People with diabetes-related foot ulcers (DFUs) need to perform self-care consistently over many months to promote healing and to mitigate risks of hospitalisation and amputation. However, during that time, improvement in their DFU can be hard to detect. Hence, there is a need for an accessible method to self-monitor DFUs at home. We developed a new mobile phone app, “MyFootCare”, to self-monitor DFU healing progression from photos of the foot. The aim of this study is to evaluate the engagement and perceived value of MyFootCare for people with a plantar DFU over 3 months’ duration. Data are collected through app log data and semi-structured interviews (weeks 0, 3, and 12) and analysed through descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. Ten out of 12 participants perceive MyFootCare as valuable to monitor progress and to reflect on events that affected self-care, and seven participants see it as potentially valuable to enhance consultations. Three app engagement patterns emerge: continuous, temporary, and failed engagement. These patterns highlight enablers for self-monitoring (such as having MyFootCare installed on the participant’s phone) and barriers (such as usability issues and lack of healing progress). We conclude that while many people with DFUs perceive app-based self-monitoring as valuable, actual engagement can be achieved for some but not for all people because of various facilitators and barriers. Further research should target improving usability, accuracy and sharing with healthcare professionals and test clinical outcomes when using the app.
PMID:36904750 | DOI:10.3390/s23052547