Processes and Recommendations for Creating mHealth Apps for Low-Income Populations

Laura Siga Stephan*, Eduardo Dytz Almeida, Raphael Boesche Guimaraes, Antonio Gaudie Ley, Rodrigo Goncalves Mathias, Maria Valéria Assis, Tiago Luiz Luz Leiria

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

215 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Mobile health (mHealth) apps have shown to improve health indicators, but concerns remain about the inclusion of populations from low- and medium-income countries (LMIC) in these new technologies. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a chronic condition with a challenging management. Previous studies have shown socioeconomic differences in the prescription of anticoagulant treatment and shared decision strategies are encouraged to achieve better outcomes. mHealth can aid both doctors and patients in this matter.

Objective: We describe the development of an mHealth app (aFib) idealized to aid shared decision between doctor and patient about anticoagulation prophylaxis in AF in a low-income and low-literacy population in Brazil. On the basis of our research, we suggest the processes to be followed when developing mHealth apps in this context.

Methods: A multidisciplinary team collected information about the target population and its needs and detected the best opportunity to insert the app in their current health care. Literature about the subject was reviewed and important data were selected to be delivered through good navigability, easy terminology, and friendly design. The app was evaluated in a multimethod setting.

Results: The steps suggested to develop an mHealth app target to LMIC are: (1) characterize the problem and the target user, (2) review the literature, (3) translate information to knowledge, (4) protect information, and (5) evaluate usability and efficacy.

Conclusions: We expect that these recommendations can guide the development of new mHealth apps in LMIC, on a scientific basis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Number of pages9
JournalJMIR MHEALTH AND UHEALTH
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • mHealth
  • atrial fibrillation
  • low-income population
  • MOBILE HEALTH
  • ATRIAL-FIBRILLATION
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • ANTICOAGULATION
  • PREVENTION
  • USABILITY
  • FRAMEWORK
  • EHEALTH
  • DISEASE
  • MODEL

Cite this