Les publications scientifiques
A large number of mobile health applications (apps) are currently available with a variety of functionalities. The user ratings in the app stores seem not to be reliable to determine the quality of the apps. The traditional methods of evaluation are not suitable for fast paced nature of mobile technology. In this study, we propose a collaborative multidimensional scale to assess the quality of mHealth apps. During our process, the app quality is assessed in various aspects including medical reliability, legal consistency, ethical consistency, usability aspects, personal data privacy and IT security. A hypothetico-deductive approach was used in various working groups to define the audit criteria based on the various use cases that an app could provide. These criteria were then implemented into a web based self-administered questionnaires and the generation of automatic reports were considered. This method is on the one hand specific to each app because it allows to assess each health app according to its offered functionalities. On the other hand, this method is automatic, transferable to all apps and adapted to the dynamic nature of mobile technology.
Mobile Health Applications, in the Absence of an Authentic Regulation, Does the Usability Score Correlate with a Better Medical Reliability?
Health-related mobile applications (apps) have been shown to improve the quality of health and patient care. Their use in clinical and health-related environments is becoming more considerable. The number of health-related apps available for download has considerably increased, while the regulatory position of this new industry is not well known. Despite this lack of regulation, measuring the usability score of these apps is not difficult. We compared two samples of twenty health-related applications each. One of the samples contained the apps with top-rated usability scores, and the other contained the apps with lowest-rated usability scores. We found that a good usability score correlates with a better medical reliability of the app's content (p<0.005). In the period in which a valid regulation is still lacking, calculation and attribution of usability scores to mobile applications could be used to identify apps with better medical quality. However, the usability score method ought to be rigorous and should not be rounded off with a simple five stars rating (as is the case in the classic app stores).
Smartphones are growing in number and mobile health applications (apps) are becoming a commonly used way for improving the quality of health and healthcare delivery. Health related apps are mainly centralized in Medical and health&fitness categories in Google and Apple app stores. However, these apps are not easily accessible by the users. We decided to develop a system facilitating the access to these apps, to increase their visibility and usability. Various use cases for 567 health related apps in French were identified and listed incrementally. UML modeling was then used to represent these use cases and their relationships with each other and with the potential users of these apps. Thirty one different use cases were found that were then regrouped into six major categories: consulting medical information references, communicating and/or sharing the information, fulfilling a contextual need, educational tools, managing professional activities, health related management. A classification of this type would highlight the real purpose and functionalities of these apps and offers the user to search for the right app rapidly and to find it in a non-ambiguous context.
Serious games could be used to improve cognitive functions in the elderly. We evaluated the adoption of a new tablet application dedicated to cognitive stimulation in the elderly. The Stim'Art application offers various serious games to work different cognitive functions (memory, attention, concentration, etc.). The usage of fifteen older adults was followed for six months. The type of the game, the number of launches for each game, the time spent on each game, the difficulty level, the success rate and perceived well-being of users have been studied and compared at the end of the first and the sixth months. The participants have played half an hour per day on average. The average time of playing per day in the sixth month was significantly higher than the average time of playing during the first month (p value < 7 * 10-4). The same result was found for the average number of game launches per day (p value < 7 * 10-4). However, older people seem not to launch more difficult levels in the last month. The success rate at sixth months was significantly higher than the success rate at the end of the first month (p value < 6.4 * 10-4). Generally, seniors have had an improvement in their wellbeing score judged by themselves. Our study showed that the mobile application receives a good admission from users. The results are promising and can pave the way for improving cognitive function in the elderly patients. The use of tablets and the constitution of serious games in close cooperation with health professionals and elderly patients (the end user), are likely to provide satisfactory results to improve healthcare provided for elderly patients suffering from cognitive disorders.