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Appl Ergon. 2012 May;43(3):582-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Comparison of four different mobile devices for measuring heart rate and ECG with respect to aspects of usability and acceptance by older people.

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Geriatrics Research Group, Department of Geriatrics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin, Reinickendorferstr. 61, Berlin, Germany.


In the area of product design and usability, most products are developed for the mass-market by technically oriented designers and developers for use by persons who themselves are also technically adept by today's standards. The demands of older people are commonly not given sufficient consideration within the early developmental process. In the present study, the usability and acceptability of four different devices meant to be worn for the measurement of heart rate or ECG were analyzed on the basis of qualitative subjective user ratings and structured interviews of twelve older participants. The data suggest that there was a relatively high acceptance concerning these belts by older adults but none of the four harnesses was completely usable. Especially problematic to the point of limiting satisfaction among older subjects were problems encountered while adjusting the length of the belt and/or closing the locking mechanism. The two devices intended for dedicated heart rate recording yielded the highest user ratings for design, and were clearly preferred for extended wearing time. Yet for all the devices participants identified several important deficiencies in their design, as well as suggestions for improvement. We conclude that the creation of an acceptable monitoring device for older persons requires designers and developers to consider the special demands and abilities of the target group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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