Designing healthy living support: mobile applications added to hybrid (e)Coach solution
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- Simons, L.P.A., Hampe, J.F. & Guldemond, N.A. Health Technol. (2013) 3: 85. doi:10.1007/s12553-013-0052-9
Healthy living is an increasingly important topic on the agenda of policy makers. Containment of health care cost through public health and specific prevention programs is seen as a key element of the current social-economic policies in the western world. Mobile health technology holds the promise to make healthy living support more effective than traditional prevention programs. We extended hybrid lifestyle support (web-based and face to face) with smart phone applications. This paper follows a design research cycle. We start from a user needs analysis, proceed to solution analysis, service development and user testing. Interestingly, despite explicit ex ante user needs for mobile App support and despite their appreciation for the apps, the users in our field test discontinued using the apps relatively fast. The eHealth law of attrition appeared to apply here too. Inspired by the user feedback, we propose several design guideline lessons. For the future, we anticipate more personal and intelligent mobile applications for health behavior tracking and feedback, plus an increasing role in health provider processes.