First Advisor

Tugrul U. Daim

Date of Publication

Winter 3-26-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Technology Management


Engineering and Technology Management




Medical technology -- Management -- Evaluation, Wearable technology, Decision making, Medical care -- Technological innovations, Nervous system -- Surgery -- Technological innovations, Orthopedics -- Technological innovations



Physical Description

1 online resource (xxiv, 380 pages)


Information and communication technologies hope to revolutionize the healthcare industry with innovative and affordable solutions with a focus on pervasive care. Wearable sensors products can provide monitoring in a natural environment with a constant stream of information, enriching healthcare practices and enabling better pervasive care.

Wearable sensor technologies could monitor patients' mobility, gait, tremor, daily activity and other health indicators in real time that could allow for simple, non-invasive, tracking of spine care that may lead to increased patient engagement, integration, feedback, post-surgery analysis, monitoring of patient's condition, patient's data extraction and analysis and possibly aiding in better diagnosis, intervention, adherence to treatment for the betterment of quality of care.

This research focuses on the assessment of technology adoption potential of medical devices particular to tracking the mobility of patients of neurosurgery and orthopedics.

Wearable medical devices that track the mobility of patients after spinal procedures could help surgeons in providing post-operative care, analysis of treatment outcomes and patient mobility. The assessment of those devices by physicians is a complex process associated with various perspectives and criteria.

Therefore, the objective of this research is to assess the potential for technology adoption of those wearable medical devices through development of a hierarchical decision-making model (HDM) that incorporates the relevant perspectives and criteria encompassing the needs of hospital neurological surgery and orthopedics departments.

The proposed research builds on an existing body of knowledge researched through literature review and background of the field and expands the health technology assessment field by implementation of a holistic, comprehensive and multi-perspective approach to technology assessment in wearable sensor products adoption for pervasive care in neurosurgery and orthopedics.

The Hierarchical Decision Model (HDM) approach is used to break the problem down into hierarchical levels and then calculate the alternatives using pairwise comparison scales and a judgment quantification technique. Inconsistencies, disagreement, sensitivity and scenario analysis are performed as well. HDM research software is created with Ruby and R to facilitate the computation of some of these important model parameters to higher precision than is available in current statistical analysis software packages or extensions targeted for decision making. Patient perspective dominates as the main perspective for the technology adoption potential of wearable devices for pervasive care in neurosurgery and orthopedics, followed by technical and financial perspectives. Valedo, a wearable device aimed to relieve back pain through exercises, motivation and mobility tracking, received the highest ranking for adoption potential, while other devices also received high relative scores. The framework could serve as a supplementary technology assessment tool and could be tested in other settings: private, small clinic etc. with the experts and special needs of physicians in particular healthcare departments.


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