Understanding the communication needs of home haemodialysis patients through remote monitoring systems

Ms Mary Ann Nicdao1

1Western Renal Service, Blacktown, Australia

Background: Decreased face to face consultations between patients and healthcare professionals may bring feelings of isolation which may be detrimental to patients’ emotional well-being.  Remote monitoring is increasingly being utilised for home haemodialysis (HHD) patients due to its evident benefits in allowing patients to record their dialysis parameters as well as send messages about their dialysis sessions. This study aimed at understanding the communication needs of patients who were experiencing technical difficulties related to haemodialysis sessions at home.

Methods: Thematic contents were analysed using machine learning tools on 1,238 text messages sent by 52 patients via a dialysis remote monitoring system from 1 Jan 2015 to 30 Jun 2018. Technically-troubled dialysis treatments were defined as those sessions where there was >5% difference between patients’ post dialysis weight and the recommended dry weight (RDW); > 5% difference in ultrafiltration goal and RDW, and when there was >1% standard deviation between actual and mean arterial and venous pressures.

Results: Preliminary findings show that the predominant theme was ‘outcome-oriented’, which described patients’ feelings during or after dialysis. The second major theme was ‘context-oriented’ which provided useful information regarding patients’ regular medications and vascular access interventions. ‘Measurement’ theme was the third largest, which reported on health metrics such as blood pressure and pulse rate. The least frequent theme was ‘complication’ which conveyed of any intradialytic issues.

Conclusions: Patients on HHD were able to report dialysis session outcomes to health professionals, followed by contextual information and measurement of parameters through a remote monitoring app.


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