Developer and end-user perspectives on addressing human aspects in mobile eHealth apps

Md Shamsujjoha, John Grundy, Hourieh Khalajzadeh, Qinghua Lu, Li Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Context: eHealth apps are mobile apps that help in self-management of critical illnesses, provide home-based disease management, and help with personalized care. Users of eHealth apps are naturally very diverse in terms of their human aspects, e.g., their age, gender, emotional reactions to the apps, cognitive style, physical and mental challenges. Unfortunately, many eHealth apps do not take these user differences sufficiently into account, making them ineffective or even unusable. Objective: This paper reports a study from eHealth app stakeholders’ – developers and end-users – perspectives on critical challenges and benefits of better incorporating human aspects into eHealth app development and usage. We also investigate how different human aspects are being addressed by developers, which ones are the most important for different user groups, and which ones are currently missing/poorly handled. Method: A mixed-method approach that integrates qualitative and quantitative research was used for this study. We gathered and analyzed data from 240 online survey responses and 25 detailed interviews within the same study and validated the results. Results: We report key issues encountered in eHealth app design, difficulty in addressing different human aspects, areas requiring further research and practical assistance, and recommend our findings to best address these challenges. We found addressing human aspects throughout the app development life-cycle is beneficial for more effective eHealth apps. Our findings also suggest the need for improved standards and guidelines, better developer-user collaborative culture, and better human aspects education to produce more effective eHealth apps. Conclusion: This paper investigates current approaches used in the eHealth app domain that take into account the human aspects of app users. The paper guides eHealth app stakeholders, future researchers, academia and industry partners be aware of human aspects related challenges and improve produce apps.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107353
Number of pages22
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • App Development
  • eHealth App
  • Human Aspect
  • Stakeholders Perspectives
  • User Study

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