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Telemed J E Health. 2012 Jul-Aug;18(6):409-12. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2011.0219. Epub 2012 May 31.

Usability and feasibility of smartphone video capabilities for telehealth care in the U.S. military.

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  • 1The National Center for Telehealth and Technology, Tacoma, Washington 98431, USA. david.luxton@us.army.mil


The two-way audio/visual capabilities on the latest smartphone platforms bring new possibilities for the delivery of healthcare services to users. Because this technology is so new, the feasibility and the basic usability of the technology need to be evaluated before more research is conducted on its application in the telehealth field. The purpose of this study was to conduct preliminary usability testing of smartphone two-way video capabilities for potential telehealth use for U.S. military service members. Seven service member volunteers communicated with research staff at a large military installation via Apple's (Cupertino, CA) FaceTime® app on the iPhone® 4 smartphone platform and conducted basic usability testing of the technology. Preferences for potential use of the technology were also assessed. The results showed that the technology has both limitations as well as potential for telehealth applications that warrant additional research.

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