Patient Engagement and Provider Effectiveness of a Novel Sleep Telehealth Platform and Remote Monitoring Assessment in the US Military: Pilot Study Providing Evidence-Based Sleep Treatment Recommendations

Emerson M. Wickwire, Jacob Collen, Vincent F. Capaldi, Scott G. Williams, Samson Z. Assefa, Julianna P. Adornetti, Kathleen Huang, Janet M. Venezia, Rachell L. Jones, Christine W. Johnston, Connie Thomas, Mary Ann Thomas, Charles Mounts, Christopher L. Drake, Michael S. Businelle, Michael A. Grandner, Rachel Manber, Jennifer S. Albrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sleep problems are common and costly in the US military. Yet, within the military health system, there is a gross shortage of trained specialist providers to address sleep problems. As a result, demand for sleep medicine care far exceeds the available supply. Telehealth including telemedicine, mobile health, and wearables represents promising approaches to increase access to high-quality and cost-effective care. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate patient engagement and provider perceived effectiveness of a novel sleep telehealth platform and remote monitoring assessment in the US military. The platform includes a desktop web portal, native mobile app, and integrated wearable sensors (ie, a commercial off-the-shelf sleep tracker [Fitbit]). The goal of the remote monitoring assessment was to provide evidence-based sleep treatment recommendations to patients and providers. Methods: Patients with sleep problems were recruited from the Internal Medicine clinic at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Patients completed intensive remote monitoring assessments over 10 days (including a baseline intake questionnaire, daily sleep diaries, and 2 daily symptom surveys), and wore a Fitbit sleep tracker. Following the remote monitoring period, patients received assessment results and personalized sleep education in the mobile app. In parallel, providers received a provisional patient assessment report in an editable electronic document format. Patient engagement was assessed via behavioral adherence metrics that were determined a priori. Patients also completed a brief survey regarding ease of completion. Provider effectiveness was assessed via an anonymous survey. Results: In total, 35 patients with sleep problems participated in the study. There were no dropouts. Results indicated a high level of engagement with the sleep telehealth platform, with all participants having completed the baseline remote assessment, reviewed their personalized sleep assessment report, and completed the satisfaction survey. Patients completed 95.1% of sleep diaries and 95.3% of symptom surveys over 10 days. Patients reported high levels of satisfaction with most aspects of the remote monitoring assessment. In total, 24 primary care providers also participated and completed the anonymous survey. The results indicate high levels of perceived effectiveness and identified important potential benefits from adopting a sleep telehealth approach throughout the US military health care system. Conclusions: Military patients with sleep problems and military primary care providers demonstrated high levels of engagement and satisfaction with a novel sleep telehealth platform and remote monitoring assessment. Sleep telehealth approaches represent a potential pathway to increase access to evidence-based sleep medicine care in the US military. Further evaluation is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere47356
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • application
  • behavioral
  • care
  • effective care
  • effectiveness
  • insomnia
  • monitoring
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • patient engagement
  • remote monitoring
  • sleep
  • sleep
  • sleep disorders
  • telehealth
  • wearables


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