OBJECTIVES: To examine if human factors methods were applied in the design, development, and evaluation of mobile applications developed to facilitate aspects of patient-centered care coordination. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE (2013-2014) for studies describing the design or the evaluation of a mobile health application that aimed to support patients' active involvement in the coordination of their care. RESULTS: 34 papers met the inclusion criteria. Applications ranged from tools that supported self-management of specific conditions (e.g. asthma) to tools that provided coaching or education. Twelve of the 15 papers describing the design or development of an app reported the use of a human factors approach. The most frequently used methods were interviews and surveys, which often included an exploration of participants' current use of information technology. Sixteen papers described the evaluation of a patient application in practice. All of them adopted a human factors approach, typically an examination of the use of app features and/or surveys or interviews which enquired about patients' views of the effects of using the app on their behaviors (e.g. medication adherence), knowledge, and relationships with healthcare providers. No study in our review assessed the impact of mobile applications on health outcomes. CONCLUSION: The potential of mobile health applications to assist patients to more actively engage in the management of their care has resulted in a large number of applications being developed. Our review showed that human factors approaches are nearly always adopted to some extent in the design, development, and evaluation of mobile applications.
- human factors
- mobile applications