Reflection on mHealth App
Testing the usability of the Care4Caregiver App offered very interesting insights into its use and potential in changing healthcare service accessibility. The app proved to be a valuable tool especially for vulnerable populations which suffer from chronic and serious conditions. It provided an easily accessible platform through which they could access medical practitioners. This app therefore helps in tackling one of the fundamental challenging in healthcare provision: accessibility to medical practitioners despite the constrain of geographical location. In a world where people are increasingly aggregating towards the idea of a global village, I believe the interconnectivity offered by this app marks an important step towards globalizing and opening access to medical services. Most importantly, there are fewer better platforms than this app where patients can interact easily with caregivers. For caregivers, this app helps them in maintaining records of their level of strain overtime as well as providing them with the stress coping tips. According to Ly (2011), apps like Care4Caregiver App which use the smartphone technology help patients to become more involved in their own care resulting in an improved health outcome.
However, I found its confinement to smartphone platform significantly alienating especially for those low income earners who may not afford the phones. Moreover, I found a little frustrating especially if there is lack of knowledge on how smartphones operate. I could have easily ditched the app especially when using it became sometimes frustrating when my phone’s memory was low. This lack of intuitiveness in the app had also been established as one of the challenges facing the assimilation of mobile phone applications in the health sector (Sunyaev et. al, 2014). Generally, the features of the app were not user friendly which is one of the challenges which research has shown to be a hindrance to their adoptability (McCurdie et al., 2012).
Ly, K. (2011), “MHealth: better health through your smartphone: tools that use mobile internet technology to promote health and manage long-term conditions are being developed, and despite a lack of hard evidence of their effectiveness, this area is likely to grow” Community Practitioner, 84(2), 16-18.
McCurdie, T., Taneva, S., Casselman, M., Yeung, M., McDaniel, C., Ho, W., & Cafazzo, J. (2012). “mHealth consumer apps: the case for user-centered design”. Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology, 46(s2), 49-56.
Sunyaev, A., Dehling, T., Taylor, P. L., & Mandl, K. D. (2014). “Availability and quality of mobile health app privacy policies”. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Ass.