Iterative Design and Usability Testing of the iMHere System for Managing Chronic Conditions and Disability

  • Andrea D. Fairman MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP), School of Health and Rehabilitation Science (SHRS), Department of Occupational Therapy http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6777-5391
  • Erika T. Yih University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Daniel F. McCoy University of Pittsburgh, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Edmund F. LoPresti University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Michael P. McCue University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology
  • Bambang Parmanto University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Health Information Management and Biomedical Informatics
  • Brad E. Dicianno Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, Pittsburgh, PA

Abstract

A novel mobile health platform, Interactive Mobile Health and Rehabilitation (iMHere), is being developed to support wellness and self-management among people with chronic disabilities. The iMHere system currently includes a smartphone app with six modules for use by persons with disabilities and a web portal for use by medical and rehabilitation professionals or other support personnel. Our initial clinical research applying use of this system provides insight into the feasibility of employing iMHere in the development of self-management skills in young adults (ages 18-40 years) with spina bifida (Dicianno, Fairman, McCue, Parmanto, Yih, et al., 2015). This article is focused on describing the iterative design of the iMHere system including usability testing of both the app modules and clinician portal. Our pilot population of persons with spina bifida fostered the creation of a system appropriate for people with a wide variety of functional abilities and needs. As a result, the system is appropriate for use by persons with various disabilities and chronic conditions, not only spina bifida. In addition, the diversity of professionals and support personnel involved in the care of persons with spina bifida (SB) also enabled the design and implementation of the iMHere system to meet the needs of an interdisciplinary team of providers who treat various conditions. The iMHere system has the potential to foster communication and collaboration among members of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, including individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities, for client-centered approach to support self-management skills. 

  

Author Biographies

Andrea D. Fairman, MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP), School of Health and Rehabilitation Science (SHRS), Department of Occupational Therapy

Andrea Fairman, PhD, OTR/L, CPRP, is Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Dr. Fairman earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and Masters of Occupational Therapy from Duquesne University, and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science with Certificate in Assistive Technology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Fairman began her career working in human services and community mental health before she became an occupational therapist. She was one of the first 100 persons in the world to take the certification exam to become a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP). She is also certified as a Behavioral Specialist Consultant and has worked extensively with persons who have developmental and psychiatric disabilities.

Over the past 15 years, Andrea has practiced occupational therapy in a wide variety of treatment settings including: home health, school-based services, inpatient rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities. More recent clinical interests have been focused on Assistive Technology (AT) and telehealth for persons with disabilities and chronic conditions.

Dr. Fairman’s research interests include: assistive technology to support persons with cognitive deficits, mobile health (mHealth) systems to promote self-management and wellness in persons with chronic conditions, incorporating behavioral interventions and strategies including gamification, virtual rewards and social supports. Dr. Fairman is one of the inventors of the innovative mHealth system called iMHere (Interactive Mobile Health and Rehabilitation) aimed at improving self-management skills and preventing and detecting secondary medical complications.

Erika T. Yih, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Daniel F. McCoy, University of Pittsburgh, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication, Pittsburgh, PA
Student at the University of Pittsburgh, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Communication, Pittsburgh, PA
Edmund F. LoPresti, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Software Engineer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Michael P. McCue, University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology

Dr. Michael McCue is Professor and Vice-Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh and is Director of the Rehabilitation Counseling Program. He is Co-Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Rehabilitation Engineering Center on Telerehabilitation (NIDRR).

Dr. McCue received his PhD in Rehabilitation for the University of Pittsburgh in 1981. He completed his postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Pittsburgh from 1981 to 1983. He holds a Masters in Education in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University (1978) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from John Carroll University (1973).

Dr. McCue is the Project Director and Principal Investigator of an Interagency Agreement between the University of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Hiram G. Andrews Rehabilitation Center that has existed for over 12 years. Dr. McCue is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UPMC Center for Assistive Technology, having served in that capacity since 2001.

Dr. McCue is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been providing assessment and neuropsychological rehabilitation services to individuals with brain injury and other cognitive disabilities since 1981. Dr. McCue has directed over 20 national research, demonstration and training programs in telerehabilitation, rehabilitation assessment and intervention and has published over 40 articles, chapters and abstracts related to telerehabilitation, neuropsychology and rehabilitation of cognitive disability. He is an RSA Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) scholar (2002-2003), an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and Past President of the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association. 

Bambang Parmanto, University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Health Information Management and Biomedical Informatics

Bambang Parmanto is Professor of health information management and biomedical informatics at the University of Pittsburgh. His has worked in the fields of telehealth, health information and data mining, and accessibility of the Web. He leads the Health and Rehabilitation Informatics (HARI) research group within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He is the past chair of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Research Committee. He is the recipient of the 2010 AHIMA TRIUMPH Research Award.  His research has been funded by various agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH),  National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), State of Pennsylvania, State of Maryland, Microsoft Research, Department of Defense, and by Veterans Administration.

Brad E. Dicianno, Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, Pittsburgh, PA
Brad Dicianno, MD is the HERL Medical Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Clinically, he treats the assistive technology and rehabilitation needs of individuals with complex disabilities including spina bifida. His research interests focus on developing and studying interventions targeted to improving health and wellness in individuals with complex disabilities (wheelchairs, adaptive sports, telemedicine, virtual reality, and preventative care programs). Brad graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Evolutionary Biology and a BA in the History and Philosophy of Science and from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with his medical doctorate.  He completed residency in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where he served as chief resident. He then completed an NIH fellowship within the Rehabilitation Medicine Scientist Training Program and obtained a Masters Degree in Bioengineering

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Published
2016-07-01
How to Cite
Fairman, A. D., Yih, E. T., McCoy, D. F., LoPresti, E. F., McCue, M. P., Parmanto, B., & Dicianno, B. E. (2016). Iterative Design and Usability Testing of the iMHere System for Managing Chronic Conditions and Disability. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 8(1), 11–20. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2016.6194
Section
Intervention