Development of an e-health tool
Using a modified Delphi technique, we developed an e-health tool (“Stimulus”) to help identify appropriate patients for DBS referral. Physicians have to enter few patient characteristics (taking less than 1 minute) after which the tool shows the advice on referral. It was implemented and tested in real-life practice and a European educational programme.
Implementation and evaluation
The Stimulus e-health tool was used for educational meetings in various countries, followed by a monitoring study to assess its impact. For patients screened with Stimulus, the DBS acceptance rate was 77% versus 48% in the unscreened population. An American study showed superiority of Stimulus over another DBS screening tool.
Extension to the USA
An additional modified Delphi study was conducted to design a health-tool specifically targeted at the US market. This tool was implemented via online programs and face-to-face educational meetings.
The results from new clinical studies and the demand for an e-health tool deployable in advanced worldwide education warranted an update. We conducted a new panel study using the RAND/UCLA method, including 82 experts around the globe. Using an online rating program, panel members assessed the appropriateness of referral for 1,296 clinical scenarios to create a new e-health tool. The tool has been implemented in various educational and clinical settings.