JMIR mHealth and uHealth

Mobile and tablet apps, ubiquitous and pervasive computing, wearable computing, and domotics for health

Editor-in-Chief:

Lorraine R. Buis, PhD, MSI, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan, USA


Impact Factor 4.95

JMIR mHealth and uHealth (JMU, ISSN 2291-5222; Impact Factor: 4.95) 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 2022, JMU received a Journal Impact Factor™ from Clarivate of 4.95 (5-year IF: 5.65) and continues to be a Q1 journal in the category of ‘Healthcare Sciences and Services’. 

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).

Recent Articles

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Fitness Trackers and Smart Pedometers/Accelerometers

There has been a rapid increase in the use of commercially available activity trackers, such as Fitbit, in physical activity intervention research. However, little is known about the long-term sustained use of trackers and behavior change after short-term interventions.

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mHealth for Diagnosis

Health consumers are increasingly taking a more substantial role in decision-making and self-care regarding their health. A range of digital technologies is available for laypeople to find, share, and generate health-related information that supports their health care processes. There is also innovation and interest in home testing enabled by smartphone technology (smartphone-supported home testing [smart HT]). However, few studies have focused on the process from initial engagement to acting on the test results, which involves multiple decisions.

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mHealth for Wellness, Behavior Change and Prevention

Tobacco addiction is the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality worldwide, but only 1 in 20 cessation attempts is supervised by a health professional. The potential advantages of mobile health (mHealth) can circumvent this problem and facilitate tobacco cessation interventions for public health systems. Given its easy scalability to large populations and great potential, chatbots are a potentially useful complement to usual treatment.

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mHealth in the Developing World/LMICs, Underserved Communities, and for Global Health

Despite the availability and accessibility of free Papanicolaou (Pap) smear as a screening tool for cervical cancer, the uptake of Pap smear in Malaysia has not changed in the last 15 years. Previous studies have shown that the high uptake of Pap smear reduces the mortality rate of patients with cervical cancer. The low uptake of Pap smear is multifactorial, and the problem could be minimized through the use of mobile technologies. Nevertheless, most intervention studies focused on individual factors, while other important aspects such as mobile technologies, especially WhatsApp, have not been investigated yet.

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Wearable Devices and Sensors

Smart sensors have been developed as diagnostic tools for rehabilitation to cover an increasing number of geriatric patients. They promise to enable an objective assessment of complex movement patterns.

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Design and Formative Evaluation of Mobile Apps

Dry eye (DE) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the ocular surface of the eye that affects millions of people throughout the world. Smartphone use as an effective health care tool has grown exponentially. The “Dry eye or not?” app was created to evaluate the prevalence of symptomatic DE, screen for its occurrence, and provide feedback to users with symptomatic DE throughout Thailand.

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Viewpoint

Face masks are an important way to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the prolonged pandemic has revealed confounding problems with the current face masks, including not only the spread of the disease but also concurrent psychological, social, and economic complications. As face masks have been worn for a long time, people have been interested in expanding the purpose of masks from protection to comfort and health, leading to the release of various “smart” mask products around the world. To envision how the smart masks will be extended, this paper reviewed 25 smart masks (12 from commercial products and 13 from academic prototypes) that emerged after the pandemic. While most smart masks presented in the market focus on resolving problems with user breathing discomfort, which arise from prolonged use, academic prototypes were designed for not only sensing COVID-19 but also general health monitoring aspects. Further, we investigated several specific sensors that can be incorporated into the mask for expanding biophysical features. On a larger scale, we discussed the architecture and possible applications with the help of connected smart masks. Namely, beyond a personal sensing application, a group or community sensing application may share an aggregate version of information with the broader population. In addition, this kind of collaborative sensing will also address the challenges of individual sensing, such as reliability and coverage. Lastly, we identified possible service application fields and further considerations for actual use. Along with daily-life health monitoring, smart masks may function as a general respiratory health tool for sports training, in an emergency room or ambulatory setting, as protection for industry workers and firefighters, and for soldier safety and survivability. For further considerations, we investigated design aspects in terms of sensor reliability and reproducibility, ergonomic design for user acceptance, and privacy-aware data-handling. Overall, we aim to explore new possibilities by examining the latest research, sensor technologies, and application platform perspectives for smart masks as one of the promising wearable devices. By integrating biomarkers of respiration symptoms, a smart mask can be a truly cutting-edge device that expands further knowledge on health monitoring to reach the next level of wearables.

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Quality Evaluation and Descriptive Analysis/Reviews of Multiple Existing Mobile Apps

There are thousands of apps for individuals struggling with headache, insomnia, and pain, but it is difficult to establish which of these apps are best suited for patients’ specific needs. If clinicians were to have access to a platform that would allow them to make an informed decision on the efficacy and feasibility of smartphone apps for patient care, they would feel confident in prescribing specific apps.

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mHealth for Wellness, Behavior Change and Prevention

Alcohol misuse is higher in the UK armed forces (AF) than in the general population. Research demonstrates that alcohol misuse persists after an individual leaves service, and this is notably the case for those who are seeking help for a mental health difficulty. Despite this, there is no work on testing a mobile alcohol reduction intervention that is personalized to support the UK AF.

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mHealth in the Developing World/LMICs, Underserved Communities, and for Global Health

The internet is a useful web-based multimedia platform for accessing and disseminating information unconstrained by time, distance, and place. To the health care sector’s benefit, the advent and proliferation of mobile devices have provided an opportunity for interventions that combine asynchronous technology-aided health services to improve the lives of the less privileged and marginalized people and their communities, particularly in developing societies.

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mHealth for Symptom and Disease Monitoring, Chronic Disease Management

Among self-care measures, the self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is a critical component for checking blood glucose levels. In addition, there is growing evidence suggesting that digital technologies are being adopted as an additional method for health care systems to increase patient contact. However, for patients with non–insulin-treated diabetes mellitus type 2 (DMT2), the value of SMBG was inconsistent among studies, and the evidence for digital technologies from real-world clinical practice is still limited.

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Viewpoint

Digital health interventions designed to promote health equity can be valuable tools in the delivery of health care to hardly served patient populations. But if the design of these technologies and the interventions in which they are deployed do not address the myriad structural barriers to care that minoritized patients, patients in rural areas, and patients who have trouble paying for care often face, their impact may be limited. Drawing on our mobile health (mHealth) research in the arena of cardiovascular care and blood pressure management, this viewpoint argues that health care providers and researchers should tend to structural barriers to care as a part of their digital health intervention design. Our 3-step predesign framework, informed by the Amplification Theory of Technology, offers a model that interventionists can follow to address these concerns.

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