JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Mobile and tablet apps, ubiquitous and pervasive computing, wearable computing and domotics for health.
JMIR mhealth and uhealth (mobile and ubiquitous health) (JMU, ISSN 2291-5222) is a new spin-off journal of JMIR, the leading eHealth journal (Impact Factor 2015: 4.532). JMIR mHealth and uHealth has a projected impact factor (2015) of about 2.03. The journal focusses on health and biomedical applications in mobile and tablet computing, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, wearable computing and domotics.
JMIR mHealth and uHealth publishes even faster and has a broader scope with including papers which are more technical or more formative/developmental than what would be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
In addition to peer-reviewing paper submissions by researchers, JMIR mHealth and uHealth offers peer-review of medical apps itself (developers can submit an app for peer-review here).
JMIR mHealth and uHealth features a rapid and thorough peer-review process, professional copyediting, professional production of PDF, XHTML, and XML proofs.
JMIR mHealth and uHealth adheres to the same quality standards as JMIR and all articles published here are also cross-listed in the Table of Contents of JMIR, the worlds' leading medical journal in health sciences / health services research and health informatics.
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Latest Submissions Open for Peer-Review:View All Open Peer Review Articles
Mobile applications for eye care in Canada: a review of the iTunes store
Date Submitted: Nov 28, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 29, 2016 - Jan 24, 2017
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Background: Smartphone screens can facilitate stimuli to varied, discrete visual systems and many mobile applications are accepted as a means of providing clinical assessments for the oculo-visual sys...
Background: Smartphone screens can facilitate stimuli to varied, discrete visual systems and many mobile applications are accepted as a means of providing clinical assessments for the oculo-visual system. Although many of these apps are intended for use in clinical settings, there is a growing number of consumer-facing applications in eye care developed for self-tests, eye exercises. These and other features however have not yet been well described. Objective: To identify, describe, and categorize mobile phone apps related to eye care that are available to users in the Canadian iTunes market. Methods: We conducted an extensive search of the Apple iTunes store for apps that related to eye care. We used the terms “eye”, “eye care, “vision”, and “eye test” and included apps that are targeted to both lay consumers and medical professionals. We excluded apps whose primary function is not related to eye care. Eligible apps were categorized by primary purpose based on how they have been described by their developers in the iTunes store. Results: Our search yielded 10,657 apps, of which 427 met our inclusion criteria. After removing duplicates, 355 unique apps were subject to further review. We assigned eligible apps into three distinct categories: 11% intended for use by medical professionals, (n=39), 66% intended for use by consumers, (n=236) and 23% intended for purposes of marketing eye care and eye care products (n=80). We identified 9 subcategories of apps based on the description of their primary functions. Apps for medical professionals contained three subcategories: clinical calculators (n=6), clinical diagnostic tools (n=18), and education and networking apps for professionals (n=15). Consumer-facing apps fell into four subcategories: self-testing (n=153), eye exercises (n=30), patient tools and low vision aids (n=35), and apps for patient education (n=18). Mixed-use apps (n=80) were classified into two subcategories: marketing of individual practitioner or eye-care products (n=72) and marketing of multiple eye-care products or professional services. Conclusions: The most extensive subcategory pertaining to eye care were apps for use by consumers, especially for conducting self-tests (66%). This study revealed a previously uncharacterized category of apps intended for use by doctors and patients, of which the primary goal is marketing of eye care services and products (23%).
A Framework for the Study of Complex mHealth Interventions in Diverse Cultural Settings: The DREAM-GLOBAL pragmatic RCT Process Evaluation Protocol
Date Submitted: Nov 24, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 26, 2016 - Jan 21, 2017
Background: In order to facilitate decision making capacity between options of care under real-life service conditions, clinical trials must be pragmatic to evaluate mHealth intervention under the var...
Background: In order to facilitate decision making capacity between options of care under real-life service conditions, clinical trials must be pragmatic to evaluate mHealth intervention under the variable conditions of health care settings with a wide range of participants. mHealth interventions often contain multiple active components that may require changes in the behavior of patients as well as providers, creating considerable complexity and even ambiguity related to causal chains. Process evaluations of the implementation process of mHealth interventions are necessary to shed light on the range of unanticipated effects an intervention may have, what the active ingredients in everyday practice are, how they exert their effect and how these may vary, among recipients or between sites. Objective: Building on the CONSORT-EHEALTH statement and participatory evaluation theory, we present a framework for process evaluations for mHealth interventions in multiple cultural settings. We also describe the application of this evaluation framework to the implementation of DREAM-GLOBAL, a pragmatic RCT and mHealth intervention designed to improve hypertension management in low resource environments. In addition, we describe data collection tools and processes that we developed to collect the process evaluation data necessary to inform implementation of the pragmatic RCT as well to inform future scale up of DREAM-GLOBAL in various geographic and cultural settings. Methods: Our review of the RCT reporting and process evaluation literature revealed that there is a significant knowledge gap related to the development of a process evaluation framework for mHealth interventions. We used community-based participatory research methods and formative research data to develop a process evaluation framework nested within a pragmatic RCT. Results: Four human organizational levels of participants impacted by the mHealth intervention were identified in our analysis and included patients, providers, community/organizations actors and health systems/settings. These four levels correspond with the organizational evaluation domains. In addition, primary implementation themes were identified as 1) the technology of the intervention, 2) cultural congruence, 3) task shifting and 4) unanticipated outcomes. Using the four organizational domains and their interaction with primary implementation themes, we developed detailed evaluation research questions and identified data or information sources that we concluded would best answer our questions. Conclusions: We have built reporting protocols for RCTs to identify items that are well suited to be studied during implantation of an mHealth intervention using process evaluation methodologies. Using DREAM-GLOBAL to illustrate our approach we succeeded in developing an uncomplicated process evaluation framework for mHealth interventions that provide key information to stakeholders, which can optimize implementation of the pragmatic trial and can be used to inform scale up. Clinical Trial: ClinicalTrials.gov registration: NCT02111226. 2014
A Systematic Review of Consent Processes for Mobile Application Mediated Research
Date Submitted: Nov 17, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 21, 2016 - Jan 16, 2017
Background: Since the launch of ResearchKit on the iOS platform in March 2015 and ResearchStack on the Android platform in June 2016, a variety of both academic and commercial institutions from around...
Background: Since the launch of ResearchKit on the iOS platform in March 2015 and ResearchStack on the Android platform in June 2016, a variety of both academic and commercial institutions from around the world have adapted these frameworks to develop mobile application (“app”) based research studies. These studies cover a wide variety of subject areas including melanoma, cardiomyopathy, and autism. Additionally, these app-based studies target a variety of participant populations, including children and pregnant women. Objective: We undertook this review to document the variety of self-administered remote informed consent processes used in app-based research studies available between May and September, 2016. Methods: We examine both the process of information giving and specific content shared, with special attention to data privacy, aggregation, and sharing. Results: We find consistency across some elements of the app-based consent processes, for example informing participants about how data will be curated from the phone. We identified variation in other elements, for example where specific information is shared and the level of detail disclosed. Additionally, we highlight several novel elements present in eConsent not typically seen in traditional consent for research. Conclusions: We advocate the importance of participant informedness in a novel, and largely unregulated research setting.
Supporting caregivers to promote child development: Using an innovative mHealth solution to get information to where it counts
Date Submitted: Oct 29, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 3, 2016 - Dec 29, 2016
Background: Suboptimal development during early childhood results in risks for ill health and diminished human capital in adulthood. Community-based service providers play a key role in promoting earl...
Background: Suboptimal development during early childhood results in risks for ill health and diminished human capital in adulthood. Community-based service providers play a key role in promoting early child development in areas where government services are weak. While community-based service providers are tasked with collecting monitoring and evaluation (M&E) data for governments and donors, such data is rarely used beyond accountability. Objective: The purpose of this study is to test the Information for Action (IFA) mobile phone app we developed to convert routinely collected data into useful, real-time decision support to caregivers, community-based service providers and programme managers. Methods: The IFA was tested with a convenience sample of 10 Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) in West Katweng’ a sub-location of Rarieda Subcounty in western Kenya. CHVs were requested to use the app as part of regular home visits to households containing children 0–5 years of age over a period of five months, following which a qualitative assessment of the app was conducted. Results: CHVs reported initial concern and anxiety given that it was their first time using a smart phone. Though they appreciated not having to carry around heavy counselling materials and the app assisted them to recall key messages with ease. With time, an increased level of confidence was experienced by participants. CHVs reported that the app facilitated interactive dialogue which improved the quality of their home visits. Conclusions: A number of technical difficulties were experienced including short battery life, the cost of electricity to charge the phones and challenges uploading data to the cloud in real time. Nonetheless, CHVs expressed great appreciation for the support and mentorship they received during implementation. CHV supervisors from the Ministry of Health appreciated how the app was adapted for the context of western Kenya and commended the participatory implementation process which involved existing training, implementation and supervision structures.
Assessing the contextual factors influencing RFID implementation in hospitals of a developing country: A conceptual model
Date Submitted: Oct 18, 2016
Open Peer Review Period: Oct 21, 2016 - Dec 16, 2016
Background: Wasting economic resources in a developing country like Iran will have numerous negative consequences. Thus, in order to avoid possible failures, necessary infrastructures must be provided...
Background: Wasting economic resources in a developing country like Iran will have numerous negative consequences. Thus, in order to avoid possible failures, necessary infrastructures must be provided before implementing new technologies. Objective: The present study aimed at assessing the degree of readiness for implementing RFID in the hospitals of a developing country through a conceptual model. Methods: The research study adopted a descriptive design and structural equation modeling was used for data analysis. Data were collected from the hospitals affiliated to Semnan University of Medical Sciences. A questionnaire designed by the researchers was used to collect participants’ ideas about organizational readiness, cultural readiness, and human resource readiness in implementing RFID. Data were fed into Path SPSS (Version 16) and LISREL 8.8, followed by conducting path analysis. Results: The results showed that human resource readiness significantly predicted RFID implementation, with cultural readiness playing the role of a mediator variable. Cultural readiness itself was influenced by organizational readiness (p<0.01). Cultural factors play an important role in implementing RFID projects in developing countries like Iran. Conclusions: Paying more attention to these factors can reduce the risk of failure in implementing such technological projects. Hospitals should strengthen organizational factors and enhance top rank managers’ support for implementing RFID. By so doing, they will promote cultural readiness, prepare human resources, and win the cooperation of the personnel in implementing such a technological project. Clinical Trial: what is it?