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 2013: 4.7). 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 is indexed in PubMed Central/PubMed).
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
Recognition Of Common Gait Patterns Using I-Pod Touch Tri-Axial Accelerometer Data: Preliminary Results
Date Submitted: Nov 28, 2015
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 23, 2016
It has been shown that a wireless tri-axial accelerometer in an I-Pod Touch device is capable of quantifying gait parameters with great consistency and accuracy. However, its use by a clinician in cli...
It has been shown that a wireless tri-axial accelerometer in an I-Pod Touch device is capable of quantifying gait parameters with great consistency and accuracy. However, its use by a clinician in clinical practice is limited due to difficulties in interpreting and understanding the temporal and spatial component of the waveforms generated. We describe a new method for data displaying common gait patterns seen in the clinic. Summarised gait data was represented as a circular pattern for easy recognition. 36 subjects with 9 each for four gait patterns respectively (normal gait, antalgic gait, short limb gait and waddling gait) were presented to 6 trained orthopaedic observers who successfully differentiated the patterns into features groups with distinctive patterns. The results of our preliminary study showed promise in detecting characteristic features for waveforms of each type of gait, easily differentiated from another.
Smartphone Applications for Preventing Cancer through Educational and Behavioral Interventions: State of the Art and Remaining Challenges
Date Submitted: Nov 20, 2015
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 20, 2015 - Jan 15, 2016
Background: Rapid developments in technology have encouraged the use of smartphones in smoking cessation; promoting healthy diet, nutrition, and physical activity; sun safety; and cancer screening. A...
Background: Rapid developments in technology have encouraged the use of smartphones in smoking cessation; promoting healthy diet, nutrition, and physical activity; sun safety; and cancer screening. Although many applications (apps) relating to the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases are available from major smartphone platforms, relatively few have been tested in research studies to determine their effectiveness. Objective: In this review, we discuss smartphone apps for smoking cessation, healthy diet and nutrition, physical activity, weight management, cancer screening, and sun safety, and issues related to the development and testing of new apps.In addition to summarizing randomized controlled trials of smartphone apps that may contribute to cancer prevention and control, we discuss key methodologic issues and outstanding challenges. Methods: Bibliographic searches were conducted in PubMed and CINAHL with relevant search terms to identify articles published in English through October 2015. Results: In randomized controlled trials, smartphone apps have been shown to be effective in promoting better dietary compliance for lower calorie, low fat, and high fiber foods, higher physical activity levels, and weight loss. The use of smartphone apps for smoking cessation has been shown to be feasible and effective in a handful of randomized controlled trials. Smartphone apps are a potentially useful behavioral intervention for encouraging adherence with guidelines for routine cancer screening and sun safety, although more research is needed. There is currently a lack of research-tested apps for promoting breast or colorectal cancer screening or for helping people to avoid carcinogenic exposures in work and home environments. Conclusions: Future studies should utilize randomized controlled trial research designs, larger sample sizes, and longer study periods to better establish the cancer prevention and control capabilities of smartphones. In developing new and refined apps for cancer prevention and control, both health literacy and e-Health literacy should be taken into account. There is a need for culturally appropriate, tailored health messages to increase knowledge and awareness of health behaviors such as smoking cessation, cancer screening, healthy eating, and sun safety. Smartphone apps are likely to be a useful and low-cost intervention for improving diet and nutrition, encouraging physical activity, addressing
Assistant for detection of clinical depressive frames developed on mobile platforms
Date Submitted: Nov 15, 2015
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 16, 2015 - Jan 11, 2016
Background: Depression is a condition capable of significantly effecting a person’s behavior or perception of his/her environment and the 14th leading cause of death in Mexico. HoD Detector is a low...
Background: Depression is a condition capable of significantly effecting a person’s behavior or perception of his/her environment and the 14th leading cause of death in Mexico. HoD Detector is a low-cost, easy to use application that aids in the diagnosis of a depressive disorder and motivates the user to seek professional help. Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe HoD Detector and evaluate the accuracy and usability of this application (with university students) for future enhancements of the system. Methods: The development of this application involved basic algorithms and the use of a database in order to successfully make a diagnosis and store the results of each user for further reference. Results: The application is capable of giving a proper diagnosis with the time interval of 2-5 minutes. There were little to no complaints in regards to the usability of the application. Conclusions: HoD Detector has the potential to become an extremely useful tool to diagnose depression and motivate users to seek professional help not only in Mexico, but on an international scale.
The electronic Patient Reported Outcome (ePRO) Tool: Testing usability and feasibility of a mobile app for patients with complex chronic disease and disability in primary care settings.
Date Submitted: Nov 9, 2015
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 9, 2015 - Jan 4, 2016
Background: People experiencing complex chronic disease and disability (CCDD) face some of the greatest challenges of any patient population. Primary care providers find it difficult to manage these p...
Background: People experiencing complex chronic disease and disability (CCDD) face some of the greatest challenges of any patient population. Primary care providers find it difficult to manage these patients’ multiple discordant conditions and symptoms and their often complex social challenges. The electronic Patient Reported Outcome (ePRO) tool is designed to overcome some of these challenges through supporting goal-oriented primary care delivery. Using the tool, patients and providers collaboratively develop health care goals on a portal linked to a mobile device to help patients track progress between visits. Objective: This study tested the usability and feasibility of adopting the ePRO tool into a single inter-disciplinary primary health care practice in Toronto, Canada. We used the Fit between Individuals, Task and Technology (FITT) framework to guide our assessment and explore whether the ePRO tool is, 1) feasible for adoption in inter-disciplinary primary health care practices and, 2) usable from both the patient and provider perspective. This usability pilot is part of a broader user-centred design development strategy. Methods: We conducted a 4-week pilot study in which patients and providers used the ePRO tool to develop health related goals which patients then monitored using a mobile device. Patients and providers collaboratively set goals using the system during an initial visit, and had at least one follow-up visit at the end of the pilot to discuss progress. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with patients and providers to capture usability and feasibility measures. Data from the ePRO system was extracted to provide information regarding tool use. Results: Six providers and eleven patients participated in the study; three patients dropped out mainly due to health issues. The tool was used heavily by patients; 8 individuals completed 210 monitoring protocols, equal to over 1300 questions. Providers and patients accessed the portal an average of 10 and 1.5 times respectively. Users found the system easy to use, some patients reporting that the tool helped in their ability to self-manage, catalyzed a sense of responsibility over their care, and improved patient-centred care delivery. Some providers found that the tool helped focus conversations on goal-setting. However, the tool did not fit well with provider workflows, monitoring questions were not adequately tailored to individual patient needs, and daily reporting became tedious and time consuming for patients. Conclusions: While our study suggests relatively low usability and feasibility of the ePRO tool, we are encouraged by the early impact on patient outcomes and generally positive responses from both user groups regarding the potential of the tool to improve care for patients with CCDD. As is consistent with our user-centred design development approach, we have modified the tool based on user feedback and are now testing the re-developed tool through an exploratory trial.
Text Message Intervention to Reduce Heavy Episodic Alcohol Consumption among Young Adults: Focus Group Findings
Date Submitted: Nov 6, 2015
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 7, 2015 - Jan 2, 2016
Background: Recent trial results show that an automated and interactive text message intervention (TRAC) is effective in reducing alcohol consumption among non-treatment seeking young adults, but may...
Background: Recent trial results show that an automated and interactive text message intervention (TRAC) is effective in reducing alcohol consumption among non-treatment seeking young adults, but may not be optimized. Objective: To assess attitudes and opinions of young adults regarding the TRAC intervention in an effort to inform future intervention design. Methods: We conducted five focus groups with 18 young adults, aged 18-25 years, who had been randomized to 12-weeks of the TRAC intervention and who completed the final follow-up (9-month) assessment as part of a clinical trial. A trained moderator followed a semi-structured interview guide covering acceptability and usefulness of the TRAC intervention, specifically probing user reactions to: drinking assessments, goal-setting prompts, and feedback messages. Participants were also asked their opinions about possible additions to the intervention, including intra-drinking support messaging and a web-based tracking dashboard. Focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed, including identification of emergent themes. Results: We identified four emergent themes regarding the TRAC intervention: (1) ease of use, (2) comfort & confidentiality (3) increased awareness of drinking behavior, and (4) accountability for drinking behavior. Participant’s comments supported the existing features of the TRAC intervention including pre-weekend drinking plan and post-weekend drinking assessments, goal setting prompts and feedback messages. Participants suggested increasing personalization, adding minimally disruptive intra-drinking support messaging and a web-based dashboard to display progress and share and compare progress with peers. Conclusions: Young adults perceived the TRAC intervention as an acceptable and useful way to help them reduce heavy episodic drinking.Findings suggest that user adoption and intervention adherence depends on its ease of use and conversational nature. Findings also suggest that effectiveness depends on an intervention’s ability to help individuals become more aware of their drinking and accountable for their drinking choices, which occurs through accretion of experiences with the intervention over time. Successful programs should balance repetition with novelty and directive with receptive feedback as well as attempt to personalize materials based on user-specific features and provide additional support through online adjuncts.
Development and testing of an automated four days SMS guidance as an aid for improving colonoscopy preparation
Date Submitted: Oct 26, 2015
Open Peer Review Period: Nov 4, 2015 - Dec 30, 2015
Background: In gastroenterology a sufficient colon cleansing improves adenoma detection rate and prevents the need for preterm repeat colonoscopies due to invalid preparation. It has been shown that p...
Background: In gastroenterology a sufficient colon cleansing improves adenoma detection rate and prevents the need for preterm repeat colonoscopies due to invalid preparation. It has been shown that patient education is of major importance for improvement of colon cleansing. Objective: Aim of this study was to assess the function of a automated short-message-service supported colonoscopy preparation starting four days before colonoscopy appointment. Methods: After analysis of percentage of patients using a mobile phone for relevance, a web based, automated SMS-system was developed. Following a single center feasibility study at a tertiary care center was performed. Patients scheduled for out-patient colonoscopy were asked for participation. Patients enrolled in the study group received automated information about dietary recommendation and bowel cleansing during colonoscopy preparation. Data of out-patient colonoscopies with regular preparation procedure were used as matched pairs and served as control. Primary endpoint was feasibility of SMS in colonoscopy preparation assessed as stable function of the system. Secondary endpoints were quality of bowel preparation according to the Boston-bowel-preparation-score (BBPS) and patient satisfaction with SMS provided information assessed by a questionnaire. Results: SMS service was successful in 19 of 20 patients. Colonoscopy was feasible in all patients of the study group. Mean (±SEM) total Boston Bowel preparation score was higher in the SMS group than in the control group (7.3 ± 0.3 vs. 6.4 ± 0.2). Patient satisfaction regarding SMS based information was high. Conclusions: Using Short-Message-Service for colonoscopy preparation with a four days guidance including dietary recommendation is a new approach to improve colonoscopy preparation. Quality of colonoscopy preparation was higher and patients were highly satisfied with the system during colonoscopy preparation.