Designing for Wellbeing with Health Data Tracking – Maintaining the User Perspective in Objective Data

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Togstad, Thea Marcelie; Alsos, Ole Andreas
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


With integrated sensors that become smaller, cheaper and more accurate every year, our personal devices can help predict disease and give health care professionals valuable data about each individual’s health. However, data gathered by personal devices are not a substantial part of today’s patient treatment. In this literature review, we investigate how health data tracking in personal devices work and explore how the applications should be designed to become a constructive addition to traditional health care services. Many users are eager to download health and fitness apps but abandon them after a short time. The group that most frequently use these solutions are young, healthy people with higher education, the same group is the most likely to get any significant health benefit from using health apps. Another concern is that health apps and data tracking can potentially push healthy users in the direction of unhealthy habits of health obsession and eating disorders. For health apps and data tracking devices to be used by a larger group of people, there need to be an increased focus on user experience. The solutions need to be designed so that they can provide users with true data about their health, are transparent of gaps in data coverage and only send out relevant and unobtrusive notifications. Other design suggestions include increasing feeling of ownership by letting the user be in charge of the data treatment and giving the user a chance to supplement objective tracking data with subjective data.

Keywords: Health Data, Tracking, eHealth


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