Usability Engineering and E-Health

Usability Engineering and E-Health

David Haniff
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-177-5.ch003
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The chapter presents case studies of e-health applications that the author has been involved in such as a paramedic application that presented treatment information to the paramedic. Furthermore, a review of e-health applications to help people with medical issues and in particular people with mental health problems is discussed. In addition, various tools to use in the development of e-health systems such learning models, focus groups and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) are presented. Finally a methodology that combines technological consideration as well as human factors issues is proposed.
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The ISO standard (9241-11) for the usability of system state the development of a system is regarded “the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” In order to achieve the target of providing a system that help the user to achieve their goals a user-centred approach to the design of e-health systems needs to take place. As suggested by Haniff et al (2004) various user groups have different needs and psychological traits, for example, Everett (1995) has suggested the elderly are late adopters of new technology. Rogers has also suggested that social aspects also have an influence on the adoption of new technology such as e-health systems, for example, a person in authority within a group using a new technology will influence other people in the group. Davis (1989) has developed a model on what influences people’s decision to accept a technology (Technology Acceptance Model) which incorporates issues such the user’s perception of the technologies ease of use and usefulness for the task that they are doing. Usability Engineering is therefore crucial producing useful e-health technologies.

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