The prolonged nature of chronic illnesses means that those who suffer from them, as well as those close to them such as family members, must have an understanding of and learn to manage the symptoms to allow them to maintain a good quality of life. The aim of the SMART2 project was to investigate how technology can play a role in facilitating this and in enabling people living with chronic illnesses to have more control over their treatment and the management of their symptoms.
The project had four main objectives. These were:
• how technology can be used to construct plans for health management tailored to individuals with specific needs,
• how signs, symptoms and consequences of chronic illnesses can be affectively monitored,
• how information about these things can be provided to people with chronic illnesses in a way that is personal and helpful to them, and
• how this personalised feedback can affect positive change in the management of chronic illnesses.
We achieved these objectives through user-centred design and analysis, working with health care professionals and with people who had had a stroke, or suffered from chronic pain (symptomatic of a number of long-term health conditions) or heart failure. We chose these three very different conditions because the technology developed as part of the project had to be able to meet the needs of many different people with a wide array of symptoms. The ultimate aim of the project was to produce a “toolkit” of software that would help people assess how best to manage their condition in conjunction with the help of health care professionals.
Date: Jan 2008 – Dec 2011
Funding: EPSRC: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council £2,300,000
Researchers: Peter Wright (PI)
Collaborators: Sue Mawson and Tricia Ware (Sheffield Hallam University)
See the SMART2 website for more information.