Background: Digital self-monitoring, such as through smartphone applications (apps) or activity trackers, could be applied to monitor the health of people with multiple sclerosis (MS). This self-monitoring could facilitate personalized therapies and self-management of MS. The acceptance of digital self-monitoring tools by patients depends on them being able and willing to use these tools in their daily lives. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with seven adults with MS before and after participation in a study in which they used an activity tracker and an MS-specific smartphone app for 4 weeks. We inquired about experiences with the tools in daily life and needs and wishes regarding further development and implementation of digital self-monitoring for people with MS. Results: The smartphone app and the activity tracker increased respondents' awareness of their physical status and stimulated them to act on the data. Challenges, such as confrontation with their MS and difficulties with data interpretation, were discussed. The respondents desired 1) adaptation of digital selfmonitoring tools to a patient's personal situation, 2) guidance to increase the value of the data, and 3) integration of digital self-monitoring into treatment plans. Conclusions: These findings show that patients can provide detailed descriptions of their daily life experiences with new technologies. Mapping these experiences could help in better aligning the development and implementation of digital self-monitoring tools, in this case smartphones and activity trackers, with the needs and wishes of people with MS.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.7224/1537-2073.2018-083, hdl.handle.net/1765/124454
Journal International Journal of MS Care
Citation
Wendrich, K. (Karine), van Oirschot, P. (Pim), Martens, M.B. (Marijn Bart), Heerings, M, Jongen, P, & Krabbenborg, L. (Lotte). (2019). Toward digital self-monitoring of multiple sclerosis: Investigating first experiences, needs, and wishes of people with MS. International Journal of MS Care, 21(6), 282–291. doi:10.7224/1537-2073.2018-083