Strategies for mHealth Research: Lessons from 3 Mobile Intervention Studies
- 3k Downloads
The capacity of Mobile Health (mHealth) technologies to propel healthcare forward is directly linked to the quality of mobile interventions developed through careful mHealth research. mHealth research entails several unique characteristics, including collaboration with technologists at all phases of a project, reliance on regional telecommunication infrastructure and commercial mobile service providers, and deployment and evaluation of interventions “in the wild”, with participants using mobile tools in uncontrolled environments. In the current paper, we summarize the lessons our multi-institutional/multi-disciplinary team has learned conducting a range of mHealth projects using mobile phones with diverse clinical populations. First, we describe three ongoing projects that we draw from to illustrate throughout the paper. We then provide an example for multidisciplinary teamwork and conceptual mHealth intervention development that we found to be particularly useful. Finally, we discuss mHealth research challenges (i.e. evolving technology, mobile phone selection, user characteristics, the deployment environment, and mHealth system “bugs and glitches”), and provide recommendations for identifying and resolving barriers, or preventing their occurrence altogether.
KeywordsMobile Health (mHealth) e-Health Mobile interventions Schizophrenia Depression Primary care
This publication was made possible by Grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Grants Nos. R34 MH100195 (PI: Ben-Zeev), P20 MH090318 (PI: Mohr), and R34 MH095907 (PI: Mohr) from the National Institute of Mental Health, and Grant No. C1MS331052 (PI: Kane) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and have not been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Mental Health, or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Bardram, J. E., Frost, M., Szántó, K., Faurholt-Jepsen, M., Vinberg, M., & Kessing, L. V. (2013). Designing mobile health technology for bipolar disorder: A field trial of the MONARCA system. In Proceedings of the 31st ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2013 (pp. 2627–2638), Paris, France. doi: 10.1145/2470654.2481364.
- Beck, K. (2003). Test-driven development: By example. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley Professional.Google Scholar
- Ben-Zeev, D., Davis, K., Kaiser, S., Krzos, I., & Drake, R. E. (2013a). Mobile technologies among people with serious mental illness: Opportunities for future services. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 40, 340–343.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cohn, M. (2004). User stories applied: For agile software development. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley Professional.Google Scholar
- Cohn, M. (2005). Agile estimating and planning. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley Professional.Google Scholar
- Faurholt-Jepsen, M., VInberg, M., Christensen, E. M., Frost, M., Bardram, J., & Kessing, L. V. (2013). Daily electronic self-monitoring of subjective and objective symptoms in bipolar disorder—the MONARCA trial protocol (MONitoring, treatment and pRediCtion of bipolar disorder episodes): A randomised controlled single-blind trial. BMJ Open, 3, e003353.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hekler, E. B., Klasnja, P., Froehlich, J., & Buman, M. (2013). Mind the theoretical gap: Interpreting, using, and developing behavioral theory in HCI research. In Proceedings of the 31st ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2013 (pp. 3307–3316), Paris, France. doi: 10.1145/2470654.2466452.
- ITU. (2011). The world in 2011: ICT facts and figures. Retrieved from http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/ICTFactsFigures2011.pdf.
- ITU. (2013). The world in 2013: ICT facts and figures. Retrieved from http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/ICTFactsFigures2013.pdf.
- Klasnja, P., Consolvo, S., & Pratt, W. (2011). In Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2011 (pp. 3063–3072), Vancouver, BC, Canada. doi: 10.1145/1978942.1979396.
- Martin, R. C. (2003). Agile software development: Principles, patterns, and practices. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Rotondi, A. J., Sinkule, J., Haas, G. L., Spring, M. B., Litschge, C. M., Newhill, C. E., et al. (2007). Designing websites for persons with cognitive deficits: Design and usability of a psychoeducational intervention for persons with severe mental illness. Psychological Services, 4, 202–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rounsaville, B. J., Caroll, K. M., & Onken, L. S. (2001). A stage model of behavioral therapies research: Getting started and moving on from stage I. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 8, 133–142.Google Scholar
- Smith, A. (2013). Pew internet and American life project: Smartphone Ownership 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2013 from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Smartphone-Ownership-2013.aspx.
- World Health Organization. (2011). Global Observatory for eHealth series—Volume 3: mHealth: New horizons for health through mobile technologies. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar