According to the Vietnamese Cardiovascular Association, one-fifth of Vietnam's population is suffering from cardiovascular disease (CVD) – now the leading cause of death in the country that accounts for about one-third of total deaths every year. Yet affordable and convenient solutions to monitor and detect CVDs remain limited and not available nation-wide. This study aimed to investigate the usability of a portable dry-electrode electrocardiography (ECG) device, paired with a mobile phone, in supporting ECG service delivery in Vietnam.
An evaluation study was designed to combine a portable dry-electrode ECG device to measure and a mobile phone to receive and record ECG signals. Healthy young college students were invited to participate in the study. Three rounds of ECG measurement were administered for each of the participants. Usability of the device was assessed through the reliability of the measures and feasibility of use during intervention. Standard error of measurement (SEM) and intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) estimations were used for reliability, while structured questionnaire administered before and after measures was used for feasibility assessments.
A total of 234 participants enrolled in the study. No major difference was found in SEMs between trials one and two (4.96 percent, 90% CI: 4.61 − 5.37) and two and three (4.14 percent, 90% CI: 3.85 − 4.48). A slight improvement was observed in ICC of trials two and three (0.95, 90% CI 0.94 − 0.96) in comparison to one of trials one and two (0.94, 90% CI: 0.92 − 0.95). The SEM and average ICC of all trials were 3.41 (90% CI: 3.17 − 3.69) and 0.96 (90% CI: 0.95 − 0.96) respectively. Forty-five percent of participants thought the device would be suitable for their parents while 69 percent thought the device would benefit their grandparents the most.
High consistency of measures demonstrated that the device is reliable to provide ECG service delivery. The study also showed great potential of device usage in primary health care of Vietnam.