A new pilot study led by Can-SOLVE CKD researchers is evaluating the usability of a web app to enhance communication between kidney patients and their kidney doctors.
The Voice-HD app was developed for patients who receive hemodialysis treatments at out-patient dialysis units. Researchers working on the Can-SOLVE CKD-supported Triple I project are evaluating the benefits of using the app to improve the quality of interaction between hemodialysis patients and their kidney doctors. Through the use of the web app, patients are able to prioritize their health concerns, request medications and schedule a private conversation with their kidney doctor.
The Voice-HD app launched earlier this year at hemodialysis units in Edmonton and Winnipeg and has undergone several upgrades over the past few months for performance and ease of use. The web app has been tested by both patients and doctors; 77 patients and 20 care providers have been enrolled in this pilot study. As the dialysis population has been underrepresented in studies of mobile health, an understanding of the preferences and unique needs of this population will be of interest to a broad audience.
The initial phase of web app testing will be wrapping up later this month. Feedback from patients and doctors who used the app will guide improvements to the app. The second phase of testing, using the improved Voice-HD web app, is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2019.
Triple I is a Canada-wide research project using patients’ experiences and knowledge to improve in-centre hemodialysis care. The project started with hemodialysis patients and their family members asking researchers to bring kidney care into the 21st century. It is a partnership of patients, researchers, and healthcare clinicians working together to improve the patient experience of hemodialysis: how you communicate with your team, personalizing your care, and improving when and how you receive information.
To learn more about Triple I and how the team is working with patients to improve hemodialysis care, visit the project’s brand new website: betterkidneycare.ca