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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

Individual and Network Trust in Remote Monitoring Systems


Establishing trust in eHealth services is a particular challenge as the patient is not only the service user but also the service product in that the data transmitted via the web is about their own physical and mental state. This double link to a patient’s health, wellbeing and treatment makes trust in factors such as data security, accuracy, usage and connectivity especially salient and raises questions around whether the decision to trust in medical ICTs is qualitatively different to trust in other contexts.

Patient data, captured through e-monitoring, is only beneficial if it is incorporated effectively into the whole eHealth HMN ecosystem. In consequence, trust must also be extended by clinicians who have to adapt to new ways of working and become the recipients of a new type of data that has been gathered remotely from patients rather than from assessments performed by trusted clinical colleagues. These relationships are more complex than typical online ‘social machines’, where participants are usually motivated and the technology is not only administrative but also transformative in respect of data. Instead, the transformation is also in the therapeutic relationships between patients and clinicians, who must co-construct a new trust-based HMN between themselves and the e-monitoring systems in the context of a less certain web-mediated world. To ensure uptake and safe usage of e-monitoring, web system designers must understand the factors influencing this trust network, identify associated risks and address these in design and implementation.

Previous research has provided information on how to design web based systems to increase trust and hence usage. However, to date this has largely related to how trust develops in response to system behaviour, ignoring key factors inherent in day-to-day usage such as user’s propensity to trust and their motivations for engagement. INTRMS uses the case of remote monitoring of rheumatoid arthritis patients to respond to this omission. Specifically, it will:


Principal Investigator: Dr Jane Prichard, Health Sciences

Co-Investigator: Brian Pickering, IT Innovation

Co-Investigator: Dr Melanie Ashleigh, Southampton Business School


View the report.

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