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Carolyn Sipes


AbstractWhile the use of technology in healthcare has been present for many years, the recent rise of digital therapeutics in healthcare has been understudied, specifically regarding the perceptions and experiences of patients using mobile applications. Traditional healthcare involves face-to-face human interactions, requiring scheduled check-ins and provides structured interventions. Conversely, Digital therapeutics is primarily comprised of human to machine interactions. Digital therapeutics allows the user to access intervention in their time of individual need. The decrease of human-to-human interaction and the rise of human-to-machine interaction was explored in this qualitative descriptive phenomenological study from the patient perspective. Watson’s theory of human caring was used as a basis to understand patient’s past and present perceptions of traditional healthcare practices in a conceptual manner. Locsin’s theory of technology competency as caring in nursing provided a framework for the combination of caring and technology. Thematic coding of the data derived from semistructured interview questions from six participants over the age of 18 revealed four key themes: (a) needing something more, (b) help in my time, (c) one more thing, and (d) who is behind the curtain. These themes provide actionable evidence that supports positive social change through understanding of patient’s expectations that led to satisfaction in their healthcare. Social change can be positively impacted through this research and findings to provide the patient perspectives to create meaningful healthcare experiences that align with current patient expectations and requirements.

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