Assessment of the Health IT Usability Evaluation Model (Health-ITUEM) for evaluating mobile health (mHealth) technology.

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BACKGROUND Over two decades of research has been conducted using mobile devices for health related behaviors yet many of these studies lack rigor There are few evaluation frameworks for assessing the usability of mHealth which is critical as the use of this technology proliferates As the development of interventions using mobile technology increase future work in this domain necessitates the use of a rigorous usability evaluation framework METHODS We used two exemplars to assess the appropriateness of the Health IT Usability Evaluation Model Health ITUEM for evaluating the usability of mHealth technology In the first exemplar we conducted 6 focus group sessions to explore adolescents use of mobile technology for meeting their health Information needs In the second exemplar we conducted 4 focus group sessions following an Ecological Momentary Assessment study in which 60 adolescents were given a smartphone with pre installed health related applications apps DATA ANALYSIS We coded the focus group data using the 9 concepts of the Health ITUEM Error prevention Completeness Memorability Information needs Flexibility Customizability Learnability Performance speed Competency Other outcomes To develop a finer granularity of analysis the nine concepts were broken into positive negative and neutral codes A total of 27 codes were created Two raters R1 and R2 initially coded all text and a third rater R3 reconciled coding discordance between raters R1 and R2 RESULTS A total of 133 codes were applied to Exemplar 1 In Exemplar 2 there were a total of 286 codes applied to 195 excerpts Performance speed Other outcomes and Information needs were among the most frequently occurring codes CONCLUSION Our two exemplars demonstrated the appropriateness and usefulness of the Health ITUEM in evaluating mobile health technology Further assessment of this framework with other study populations should consider whether Memorability and Error prevention are necessary to include when evaluating mHealth technology