In this chapter, the authors discuss two case studies that compare and contrast the use of barcode scanning, voice recording, and patient self reporting as a means to monitor the nutritional intake of a chronically ill population. In the first study, they found that participants preferred unstructured voice recordings rather than barcode scanning. Since unstructured voice recordings require costly transcription and analysis, they conducted a second case study where participants used barcode scanning or an integrated voice response system to record nutritional intake. The authors found that although the latter input method provided participants with a faster method to input food items, participants had difficulty using the system despite training.
PDAs with scanner input and mobile phones used for IVRS input gather information in many domains. PDAs and scanners have been used to show clinicians videos about specific unit appliances (Brandt, Björgvinsson, Hillgren, Bergqvist, & Emilson, 2002), save and search for information about food products, music, and books (Bernheim, Combs, Smith, & Gupta, 2005), and obtain information about an environment from embedded barcodes (Fitzmaurice, Khan, Buxton, Kurtenback, & Balakrishnan, 2003). Mobile phones used for IVRSs have been used for patient counseling to enhance time spent with health professionals (Glasgow, Bull, Piette, & Steiner, 2004) and assess patient status with chronic illnesses such as depression, cancer, heart failure, and diabetes (Piette, 2000). In this section, we discuss specifically how PDAs and mobile phones have been used for interventions and nutritional monitoring.