Date: 25 Jun 2014

Tailoring real-time physical activity coaching systems: a literature survey and model

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Abstract

Technology mediated healthcare services designed to stimulate patients’ self-efficacy are widely regarded as a promising paradigm to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. The promotion of healthy, active living is a topic of growing interest in research and business. Recent advances in wireless sensor technology and the widespread availability of smartphones have made it possible to monitor and coach users continuously during daily life activities. Physical activity monitoring systems are frequently designed for use over long periods of time placing usability, acceptance and effectiveness in terms of compliance high on the list of design priorities to achieve sustainable behavioral change. Tailoring, or the process of adjusting the system’s behavior to individuals in a specific context, is an emerging topic of interest within the field. In this article we report a survey of tailoring techniques currently employed in state of the art real time physical activity coaching systems. We present a survey of state of the art activity coaching systems as well as a conceptual framework which identifies seven important tailoring concepts that are currently in use and how they relate to each other. A detailed analysis of current use of tailoring techniques in real time physical activity coaching applications is presented. According to the literature, tailoring is currently used only sparsely in this field. We underline the need to increase adoption of tailoring methods that are based on available theories, and call for innovative evaluation methods to demonstrate the effectiveness of individual tailoring approaches.