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      Evaluation of an App to Support Healthy Living by Older Adults

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      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017) (EVA)

      Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

      11 – 13 July 2017

      healthy eating, healthy liquid intake, older adults, tablet computers, mobile apps

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          Smartphone and tablet computers apps are a promising tool to promote healthy attitudes and behaviours among older adults. A tablet computer app to support older adults in maintaining good nutrition and hydration was developed to allow them to track their intake of fruit and vegetables and appropriate liquids. A highly user-centred design lifecycle was used which culminated in a field study with fifteen older adults who used the app for two weeks. Two main themes emerged from the results of their experiences with the app: ease of use and usefulness of the app. Although there were some usability issues, overall participants found the app easy to use, straightforward and designed to do what it was supposed to do. For most of the participants, the app acted as a motivational tool helping them to change their daily diet to eat more fruit and vegetables, and to drink more liquid.

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          Most cited references 18

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            Harnessing Different Motivational Frames via Mobile Phones to Promote Daily Physical Activity and Reduce Sedentary Behavior in Aging Adults

            Mobile devices are a promising channel for delivering just-in-time guidance and support for improving key daily health behaviors. Despite an explosion of mobile phone applications aimed at physical activity and other health behaviors, few have been based on theoretically derived constructs and empirical evidence. Eighty adults ages 45 years and older who were insufficiently physically active, engaged in prolonged daily sitting, and were new to smartphone technology, participated in iterative design development and feasibility testing of three daily activity smartphone applications based on motivational frames drawn from behavioral science theory and evidence. An “analytically” framed custom application focused on personalized goal setting, self-monitoring, and active problem solving around barriers to behavior change. A “socially” framed custom application focused on social comparisons, norms, and support. An “affectively” framed custom application focused on operant conditioning principles of reinforcement scheduling and emotional transference to an avatar, whose movements and behaviors reflected the physical activity and sedentary levels of the user. To explore the applications' initial efficacy in changing regular physical activity and leisure-time sitting, behavioral changes were assessed across eight weeks in 68 participants using the CHAMPS physical activity questionnaire and the Australian sedentary behavior questionnaire. User acceptability of and satisfaction with the applications was explored via a post-intervention user survey. The results indicated that the three applications were sufficiently robust to significantly improve regular moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity and decrease leisure-time sitting during the 8-week behavioral adoption period. Acceptability of the applications was confirmed in the post-intervention surveys for this sample of midlife and older adults new to smartphone technology. Preliminary data exploring sustained use of the applications across a longer time period yielded promising results. The results support further systematic investigation of the efficacy of the applications for changing these key health-promoting behaviors.
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              Mobile phone-based self-management tools for type 2 diabetes: the few touch application.

              Mobile phones and other mobile information and communication technology applications and technologies hold great potential as a basis for powerful patient-operated self-management tools within diabetes. The work presented shows how such tools can be designed for supporting lifestyle changes among people with type 2 diabetes and how these were perceived by a group of 12 patients during a 6-month period. The study used focus groups, interviews, feasibility testing, questionnaires, paper prototyping, and prototyping of both software and hardware components. The design process was iterative, addressing the various elements several times at an increasing level of detail. The final test of the application was done qualitatively in everyday settings in a cohort of 12 people with type 2 diabetes, aged 44-70 (four men and eight women). A mobile phone-based system called the Few Touch application was developed. The system includes an off-the-shelf blood glucose (BG) meter, a tailor-made step counter, and software for recording food habits and providing feedback on how users perform in relation to their own personal goals. User feedback from the 6-month user intervention demonstrated good usability of the tested system, and several of the participants adjusted their medication, food habits, and/or physical activity. Of the five different functionalities, the cohort considered the BG sensor system the best. It was shown that it is possible and feasible to design an application where several sensors and feedback applications are integrated in an overall system. The presented Few Touch application challenges people with type 2 diabetes to think about how they can improve their health, providing them with a way to capture and analyze relevant personal information about their disease. The half-year user intervention demonstrated that the system had a motivational effect on the users. (c) 2010 Diabetes Technology Society.

                Author and article information

                July 2017
                July 2017
                : 1-14
                Department of Computer Science, University of York, United Kingdom
                © Sani et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development. Proceedings of British HCI 2017 – Digital Make-Believe, Sunderland, UK.

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2017)
                London, UK
                11 – 13 July 2017
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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