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Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2015 Jul 2;6:e96. doi: 10.1038/ctg.2015.25.

Download Alert: Understanding Gastroenterology Patients' Perspectives on Health-Related Smartphone Apps.

Author information

1
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
2
Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
3
Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
4
Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
5
1] Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA [2] Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aims of this study were to understand patients' willingness to use different types of health-related smartphone apps and to explore their attitudes on the overall value, usability, feasibility, credibility, intrusiveness, and obtrusiveness of these apps.

METHODS:

Questionnaires were distributed to adult patients presenting to gastroenterology clinics at an academic medical center. The 25-question survey consisted of 5-point Likert-type scale statements, multiple-choice questions, and open-ended questions.

RESULTS:

Participants were mainly White (N=94, 78%) and smartphone owners (N=125, 93%). The mean age was 40.8 years (N=121, s.d.=13.2). Participants were willing to use most types of apps unless it monitored their location or social networking activity. Half were less willing to use an app if it required a visible accessory. Most participants were willing to use a health-related app up to 5 min a day indefinitely but unwilling to pay out-of-pocket for it. Participants generally disagreed that an app would be hard to learn how to use, interfere with their daily routine, or be embarrassing to use in public. Overall, participants felt that health-related apps could help them and their doctors better manage their medical problems, but were neutral in trusting their quality. Most worried that personal information used for an app would fall into the wrong hands.

CONCLUSION:

Gastroenterology patients were willing to use and valued most types of health-related apps. They perceived this technology as feasible, usable, and relatively unobtrusive unless a visible accessory was required. However, many were concerned about their privacy.

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