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Usability and Feasibility of PIERS on the Move: An mHealth App for Pre-Eclampsia Triage.

TitleUsability and Feasibility of PIERS on the Move: An mHealth App for Pre-Eclampsia Triage.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLim, J, Cloete, G, Dunsmuir, D, Payne, BA, Scheffer, C, von Dadelszen, P, Dumont, G, Ansermino, JM
JournalJMIR Mhealth Uhealth
Date Published2015 Apr 17

BACKGROUND: Pre-eclampsia is one of the leading causes of maternal death and morbidity in low-resource countries due to delays in case identification and a shortage of health workers trained to manage the disorder. Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk (PIERS) on the Move (PotM) is a low cost, easy-to-use, mobile health (mHealth) platform that has been created to aid health workers in making decisions around the management of hypertensive pregnant women. PotM combines two previously successful innovations into a mHealth app: the miniPIERS risk assessment model and the Phone Oximeter.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the usability of PotM (with mid-level health workers) for iteratively refining the system.

METHODS: Development of the PotM user interface involved usability testing with target end-users in South Africa. Users were asked to complete clinical scenario tasks, speaking aloud to give feedback on the interface and then complete a questionnaire. The tool was then evaluated in a pilot clinical evaluation in Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town.

RESULTS: After ethical approval and informed consent, 37 nurses and midwives evaluated the tool. During Study 1, major issues in the functionality of the touch-screen keyboard and date scroll wheels were identified (total errors n=212); during Study 2 major improvements in navigation of the app were suggested (total errors n=144). Overall, users felt the app was usable using the Computer Systems Usability Questionnaire; median (range) values for Study 1 = 2 (1-6) and Study 2 = 1 (1-7). To demonstrate feasibility, PotM was used by one research nurse for the pilot clinical study. In total, more than 500 evaluations were performed on more than 200 patients. The median (interquartile range) time to complete an evaluation was 4 min 55 sec (3 min 25 sec to 6 min 56 sec).

CONCLUSIONS: By including target end-users in the design and evaluation of PotM, we have developed an app that can be easily integrated into health care settings in low- and middle-income countries. Usability problems were often related to mobile phone features (eg, scroll wheels, touch screen use). Larger scale evaluation of the clinical impact of this tool is underway.

Alternate JournalJMIR Mhealth Uhealth
Citation Key498
PubMed ID25887292
PubMed Central IDPMC4417132