Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 1099–1121 | Cite as

Designing a Personal Health Application for Older Adults to Manage Medications: A Comprehensive Case Study

  • Katie A. Siek
  • Danish U. Khan
  • Stephen E. Ross
  • Leah M. Haverhals
  • Jane Meyers
  • Steven R. Cali
Original Paper


Older adults with multiple chronic conditions often go through care transitions where they move between care facilities or providers during their treatment. These transitions are often uncoordinated and can imperil patients by omitted, duplicative, or contradictory care plans. Older adults sometimes feel overwhelmed with the new responsibility of coordinating the care plan with providers and changing their medication regimes. In response, we developed a Lesser General Public License (LGPL) open source, web-based Personal Health Application (PHA) using an iterative participatory design process that provided older adults and their caregivers the ability to manage their personal health information. In this paper, we document the PHA design process from low-fidelity prototypes to high-fidelity prototypes over the course of six user studies. Our findings establish the imperative need for interdisciplinary research and collaboration among all stakeholders to create effective PHAs. We conclude with design guidelines that encourage researchers to gradually increase functionality as users become more proficient.


Older adults Personal Health Records Personal Health Applications Participatory design Medication management Interdisciplinary design 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie A. Siek
    • 1
  • Danish U. Khan
    • 1
  • Stephen E. Ross
    • 2
  • Leah M. Haverhals
    • 3
  • Jane Meyers
    • 1
  • Steven R. Cali
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA
  3. 3.Denver Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDenverUSA
  4. 4.Anschutz Medical CampusUniversity of Colorado DenverDenverUSA

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