Interpreting Health and Wellness Information

Interpreting Health and Wellness Information

Lena Mamykina (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA) and Elizabeth Mynatt (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch033
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In the last decade, novel sensing technologies enabled development of applications that help individuals with chronic diseases monitor their health and activities. These applications can generate large volumes of data that need to be processed and analyzed. At the same time, many of these applications are designed for non-professional use by individuals of advanced age and low educational level. These users may find the data collected by the applications challenging and overwhelming, rather than helpful, and may require additional assistance in interpreting it. In this chapter, we discuss two different approaches to designing computing applications that not only collect the relevant health and wellness data but also find creative ways to engage individuals in the analysis and assist with interpretation of the data. These approaches include visualization of data using simple real world imagery and metaphors, and social scaffolding mechanisms that help novices learn by observing and imitating experts. We present example applications that utilize both of these approaches and discuss their relative strengths and limitations.

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