Human-Computer Interaction and Beyond: Advances Towards Smart and Interconnected Environments Part II

Usability Based Rating Scale (UBRS) for Evaluation of Mobile Health (mHealth) Applications

Author(s): Irum Feroz* and Nadeem Ahmad

Pp: 27-48 (22)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815036398122010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Mobile Health (mHealth) applications provide information on public health
care supported by mobile devices, including patient monitoring devices and other
wireless devices. There is no quality assessment tool for the rating of mHealth
applications based on important usability parameters. The primary objective of this
chapter is to present a reliable, multipurpose, comprehensive scale for classifying and
rating the quality of mHealth applications. The newly defined rating scale is primarily
based on the usability parameters extracted from ISO standards, usability guidelines,
and empirical study of literature. Initially, the usability of existing mHealth
applications is evaluated, and their usability barriers are explored. In this study, the
participants were divided into three equal groups, and each group was assigned three
mHealth applications to perform a predefined set of tasks. The applications were
evaluated by using existing five-star rating scale criteria. The user's study reported
mismatched behavior where task performance and efficiency were not aligned with the
application's rating criteria. In this chapter, the taxonomy of usability parameters is
defined and distributed in five different classes. A questionnaire for rating mHealth
applications was also designed, and an overall user rating was calculated by assigning
weight to each question. Other three groups were involved in a second session to
evaluate different mHealth applications using the newly developed usability-based
rating scale (UBRS). It was found that UBRS was compatible with user effectiveness,
efficiency, and satisfaction.

Keywords: Design, eHealth, HCI, Health applications, Interaction design, Interfaces, Mobile applications, mHealth, Rating criteria, Rating scale, Usability, Usability barriers, Usability experience, Usability framework, Usability guidelines, Usability Metrics, Usability parameters, Usability questionnaire, Usability taxonomy, User experience.

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