Background: mHealth has experienced a huge growth during the last decade. It has been presented as a new and promising pathway to increase self-management of health and chronic conditions in several populations. One of the most prolific areas of mHealth has been healthy lifestyles promotion. However, few mobile apps have succeeded in engaging people and ensuring sustained use. Objective: This paper describes the pilot test protocol of the PReventive Care Infrastructure based on Ubiquitous Sensing (PRECIOUS) project, aimed at validating the PRECIOUS system with end users. This system includes, within a motivational framework, the Bodyguard2 sensor (accelerometer with heart rate monitoring) and the PRECIOUS app. Methods: This is a pilot experimental study targeting morbidly obese prediabetic patients who will be randomized to three conditions: (1) Group 1 - Control group (Treatment as usual with the endocrinologist and the nurse + Bodyguard2), (2) Group 2 - PRECIOUS system (Bodyguard2 + PRECIOUS app), and (3) Group 3 - PRECIOUS system (Bodyguard2 + PRECIOUS app + Motivational Interviewing). The duration of the study will be 3 months with scheduled follow-up appointments within the scope of the project at Weeks 3, 5, 8, and 12. During the study, several measures related to healthy lifestyles, weight management, and health-related quality of life will be collected to explore the effectiveness of PRECIOUS to foster behavior change, as well as user acceptance, usability, and satisfaction with the solution. Results: Because of the encouraging results shown in similar scientific work analyzing health apps acceptance in clinical settings, we expect patients to widely accept and express satisfaction with PRECIOUS. We also expect to find acceptable usability of the preventive health solution. The recruitment of the pilot study has concluded with the inclusion of 31 morbidly obese prediabetic patients. Results are expected to be available in mid-2017. Conclusions: Adopting and maintaining healthy habits may be challenging in people with chronic conditions who usually need regular support to ensure mid/long-term adherence to recommendations and behavior change. Thus, mHealth could become a powerful and efficient tool since it allows continuous communication with users and immediate feedback. The PRECIOUS system is an innovative preventive health care solution aimed at enhancing inner motivation from users to change their lifestyles and adopt healthier habits. PRECIOUS includes ubiquitous sensors and a scientifically grounded app to address three main components of health: physical activity, diet, and stress levels.
mHealth; Diet; Physical activity
Castellano-Tejedor C, Moreno J, Ciudin A, Parramón G, Lusilla-Palacios P. PREventive Care Infrastructure based On Ubiquitous Sensing (PRECIOUS): A Study Protocol. JMIR Res Protoc. 2017 May 31;6(5):e105.
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