JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Mobile and tablet apps, ubiquitous and pervasive computing, wearable computing, and domotics for health
JMIR mHealth and uHealth (JMU, ISSN 2291-5222; Impact Factor: 4.77) is a leading peer-reviewed journal and one of the flagship journals of JMIR Publications. JMIR mHealth and uHealth has published since 2013 and was the first mhealth journal indexed in PubMed. In June 2021, JMU received an impact factor of 4.77.
JMU has a focus on health and biomedical applications in mobile and tablet computing, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, wearable computing and domotics. It has a broad scope that includes papers which are more technical or more formative/developmental than what would be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
JMIR mHealth and uHealth adheres to rigorous quality standards, involving a rapid and thorough peer-review process, professional copyediting, professional production of PDF, XHTML, and XML proofs (ready for deposit in PubMed Central/PubMed).
Ubiquitous, smart technology has the potential to assist humans in numerous ways, including with health and social care. COVID-19 has notably hastened the move to remotely delivering many health services. A variety of stakeholders are involved in the process of developing technology. Where stakeholders are research participants, this poses practical and ethical challenges, particularly if the research is conducted in people’s homes. Researchers must observe prima facie ethical obligations linked to participants’ interests in having their autonomy and privacy respected.
Behavioral eHealth and mobile health interventions have been moderately successful in increasing physical activity, although opportunities for further improvement remain to be discussed. Chatbots equipped with natural language processing can interact and engage with users and help continuously monitor physical activity by using data from wearable sensors and smartphones. However, a limited number of studies have evaluated the effectiveness of chatbot interventions on physical activity.
The use of new and emerging tobacco products (NETPs) and conventional tobacco products (CTPs) has been linked to several alarming medical conditions among young adults (YAs). Considering that 96% of YAs own mobile phones, SMS text messaging may be an effective strategy for tobacco risk communication.
Official contact tracing apps have been implemented and recommended for use across nations to track and contain the spread of COVID-19. Such apps can be effective if people are willing to use them. Accordingly, many attempts are being made to motivate citizens to make use of the officially recommended apps.
People spend large parts of their everyday life using their smartphones. Despite various advantages of the smartphone for daily life, problematic forms of smartphone use exist that are related to negative psychological and physiological consequences. To reduce problematic smartphone use, existing interventions are oftentimes app-based and include components that help users to monitor and restrict their smartphone use by setting timers and blockers. These kinds of digital detox interventions, however, fail to exploit psychological resources, such as through promoting self-efficacious and goal-directed smartphone use.
In October 2020, Germany became the first country, worldwide, to approve certain mobile health (mHealth) apps, referred to as DiGA (Digitale Gesundheitsanwendungen, in German, meaning digital health applications), for prescription with costs covered by standard statutory health insurance. Yet, this option has only been used to a limited extent so far.
Healthy behaviors are crucial for maintaining a person’s health and well-being. The effects of health behavior interventions are mediated by individual and contextual factors that vary over time. Recently emerging smartphone-based ecological momentary interventions (EMIs) can use real-time user reports (ecological momentary assessments [EMAs]) to trigger appropriate support when needed in daily life.
Video electroencephalography recordings, routinely used in epilepsy monitoring units, are the gold standard for monitoring epileptic seizures. However, monitoring is also needed in the day-to-day lives of people with epilepsy, where video electroencephalography is not feasible. Wearables could fill this gap by providing patients with an accurate log of their seizures.
Women consult information in mobile apps (apps) during pregnancy, and even obstetrics specialists highlight that pregnancy is the ideal moment for the use of apps as consultation sources. However, the high number of apps designed for pregnancy requires a careful assessment to determine their suitability before recommendation.
Smartphone apps are increasingly being used to aid in hypertension self-management, and a large and ever-growing number of self-management apps have been commercially released. However, very few of these are potentially effective and secure, and researchers have yet to establish the suitability of specific hypertension apps to particular contexts.
Smartphone location data can be used for observational health studies (to determine participant exposure or behavior) or to deliver a location-based health intervention. However, missing location data are more common when using smartphones compared to when using research-grade location trackers. Missing location data can affect study validity and intervention safety.