Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 389–397 | Cite as

Supporting the strategies to improve elders’ medication compliance by providing ambient aids

  • Juan Pablo García-Vázquez
  • Marcela D. Rodríguez
  • Ángel G. Andrade
  • José Bravo
Original Article


In this paper, we present Ambient Information Systems (AIS) that support strategies relevant to enable elders to effectively manage their medication, such as: remind (Remind-Me AIS), guide (GUIDE-Me AIS), and motivate (CARE-Me AIS) them to medicate. We have informed the AIS design through a case study we carried out to understand elders’ deficiencies for adhering to their medication routine. As a result of the case study and the AIS design process; we identified the design issues that should be addressed when developing AIS that cope with the elders needs for living independently. Identifying these design issues is a step toward proposing design guidelines for the development of AIS for elderly. Through a heuristic evaluation, we identified several usability problems that enabled us to improve AIS characteristics, such as the intuitive mapping of the information representations and the visibility of the different AIS states.


Heuristic evaluation Smart environments Information interfaces and presentation Ubiquitous computing 



We thank to professors and students who participated in the heuristic evaluation; and to CONACyT for the scholarship granted.


  1. 1.
    Orwing D, Brandt N, Gruber-Baldini A (2006) Medication management assessment for older adults in the community. Gerontol 46:661–668Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rowan J, Mynatt E (2005) Digital family portrait field trial: support for aging in place. CHI 2005, ACM 521–530Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sterns A, Mayhorn B (2006) Persuasive pillboxes: improving medication adherence with personal digital assistants. PERSUASIVE 2006, Springer pp 195–198Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chisnell D, Redish J, Lee A (2006) New heuristics for understanding older adults as web users. Tech Commun 53(1):39–60Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pousman Z, Stasko J (2006) A taxonomy of ambient information systems: four patterns of design. Working conference on advanced visual interfaces, ACM 67–74Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Tomitsch M, Kappel K, Lehner A, Grechenig T (2007) Towards a taxonomy for ambient information systems. CEUR workshop of pervasive 2007Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Matthews T, Dey AD, Mankoff J, Carter S, Rattenbury T (2004) A toolkit for managing user attention in peripherals displays. UIST 2004, ACM 247–256Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mankoff J, Dey AD, Hsieh G, Kientz J, Lederer S, Ames M (2003) Heuristic evaluation of ambient displays. CHI 2003, ACM 169–176Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    García-Vázquez JP, Rodriguez MD, Tentori EM, Saldaña D, Andrade AG, Espinoza AN (2010) An agent-based architecture for developing activity-aware systems for assisting elderly. J Univers Comput Sci 16(12):1500–1520Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vergara V, Díaz-Hellín P, Fontecha J, Hervás R, Sánchez-Barba C, Fuentes C, Bravo J (2010) Mobile prescription: an NFC-based proposal for AAL. IEEE Proceedings of International Workshop on Near Field Communication 2010:27–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bravo J, López-de-Ipiña D, Fuentes C, Hervás R, Peña R, Vergara M, Casero G (2008) Enabling NFC technology for supporting chronic diseases: a proposal for alzheimer caregivers, AmI 2008, Springer LNCS 5355, 266–283Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Consolvo S, Roessler P, Shelton BE (2004) The carenet display: lessons learned from an in home evaluation of an ambient display. Proceedings of the 6th Int′l Conference on Ubiquitous Computing: Ubicomp 04, 1–17Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    González MP, Granollers T, Pascual A (2008) Testing website usability in Spanish-speaking academia through heuristic evaluation and cognitive walkthroughs. Int J Univers Comp Sci 14(9):1513–1527Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nielsen J (1993) Usability heuristics, in usability engineering. Academic Press, San Diego, CAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Pablo García-Vázquez
    • 1
  • Marcela D. Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Ángel G. Andrade
    • 1
  • José Bravo
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Engineering, MyDCIAutonomous University of Baja CaliforniaMexicaliMéxico
  2. 2.MAmI Research LabCastilla-La Mancha UniversityCiudad RealSpain

Personalised recommendations