Clinical experiences of working with patient-generated health data in primary care

Noushin Nazarian, Wendy Chapman, Daniel Capurro

Background: The accessibility of patient-ready devices like wearables has fueled the growth of patient-generated health data (PGHD) [1]. This growth is outpacing how PGHD is understood and clinically used in healthcare [2]. The potential of PGHD in different healthcare domains is understudied.
Aims: This research aims to understand the experience of General Practitioners (GPs) with PGHD through the impact on clinical decision-making, collaboration with patients, and physician satisfaction.

Methods: We recruited five GPs practicing in Victoria, Australia, to participate in a simulated video-based teleconsultation with a patient who presented the health data summary from a Galaxy watch. The patient was role-played, and patient data included sleep quality, blood pressure, and ECG traces. After the teleconsultation, the GP filled in a survey based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) framework. We used thematic analysis to identify the main themes in the consultation. . Results: We identified three themes 1) PGHD as a clinical guide, 2) GP’s attitude towards PGHD, and 3) GP-Patient collaboration. Four GPs used PGHD to guide clinical decision-making, but PGHD was not used for diagnosis. GPs established the means of effective communication with patients mainly through patient education. Most of the GPs marked their experience of working with PGHD as positive. The TAM survey’s results indicated positive outcomes regarding perceived usefulness (PU) and attitude toward PGHD (ATT), while the results of the perceived ease of use (PEOU) were insignificant. Despite the results of PU and ATT, the intention of using PGHD in the future (BI) is not strongly implied.

Discussion: One of the limitations of this research was the simplicity of the TAM model, which did not include the pre-existing assumptions of GPs about smartwatches and PGHD. Future research needs to understand the barriers and facilitators of using PGHD in greater detail.

Conclusions: PGHD has the potential to help with clinical decision-making and improve collaboration with the patient in primary care, which might enhance clinicians' satisfaction. However, recognizing the determinants of clinician satisfaction requires the development of a rigorous methodology.