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TOURIST2 – Tracking of urgent risks in swiss travellers to the 6 main travel destinations – Feasibility and ethical considerations of a smartphone application-based study


Baroutsou, Vasiliki; Hatz, Christoph; Blanke, Ulf; Haile, Sarah R; Fehr, Jan; Neumayr, Andreas; Puhan, Milo A; Bühler, Silja (2021). TOURIST2 – Tracking of urgent risks in swiss travellers to the 6 main travel destinations – Feasibility and ethical considerations of a smartphone application-based study. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 39:101912.

Abstract

Background

The adoption of mHealth technology in travel medicine is a relatively new and unexplored field. We have further developed a TRAVEL application (app) for real-time data monitoring during travel. In this manuscript we report on the feasibility using this new app in a large and diverse cohort of travellers to three continents.
Methods

We enrolled 1000 participants from the travel clinics of Zurich and Basel, Switzerland, aged ≥18 years, travelling to Thailand, India, China, Tanzania, Brazil and Peru between 09/2017–01/2019. Participants included healthy travellers, individuals with pre-existing chronic diseases and elderly travellers (≥60 years). Participants completed an app-based daily survey on risk behaviours/health incidents pre-, during and after travel. Simultaneously, GPS locations were tightly collected and linked to environmental data.
Results

793 (79%) travellers answered at least one questionnaire during their trip. Participants’ median age was 34 years (range 18–84 years); 8% were aged ≥60 years; 55% female; 32% had pre-existing chronic diseases. Completion rates were similar in younger and elderly travellers and in those with and without pre-existing diseases.
Conclusions

The use of a smartphone app is a feasible method for collecting behavioural and health data in elderly travellers and individuals with chronic diseases travelling to three continents.

Abstract

Background

The adoption of mHealth technology in travel medicine is a relatively new and unexplored field. We have further developed a TRAVEL application (app) for real-time data monitoring during travel. In this manuscript we report on the feasibility using this new app in a large and diverse cohort of travellers to three continents.
Methods

We enrolled 1000 participants from the travel clinics of Zurich and Basel, Switzerland, aged ≥18 years, travelling to Thailand, India, China, Tanzania, Brazil and Peru between 09/2017–01/2019. Participants included healthy travellers, individuals with pre-existing chronic diseases and elderly travellers (≥60 years). Participants completed an app-based daily survey on risk behaviours/health incidents pre-, during and after travel. Simultaneously, GPS locations were tightly collected and linked to environmental data.
Results

793 (79%) travellers answered at least one questionnaire during their trip. Participants’ median age was 34 years (range 18–84 years); 8% were aged ≥60 years; 55% female; 32% had pre-existing chronic diseases. Completion rates were similar in younger and elderly travellers and in those with and without pre-existing diseases.
Conclusions

The use of a smartphone app is a feasible method for collecting behavioural and health data in elderly travellers and individuals with chronic diseases travelling to three continents.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Uncontrolled Keywords:Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health, Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:1 January 2021
Deposited On:13 Jan 2021 07:13
Last Modified:24 Jun 2024 01:41
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1477-8939
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101912
PubMed ID:33171284
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