Testing the usability of two automated home-based patient-management systems

Ramesh Farzanfar, Joseph Finkelstein, Robert H. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


To explore to what extent observation and semistructured in-depth interviews provide effective tools for usability testing of two automated home-based systems aimed at monitoring patients' health status at home and improving self-care. Telephone-Linked Care for Diet Adherence in Dyslipidemia (TLC-DietAid) used computer telephony to interact with users and Home Asthma Telemonitoring System (HAT System) used a combination of Personal Digital Assistant (palmtops) and the Internet for similar purposes. Both systems were evaluated in two separate pilot studies. Our pilot studies uncovered "medium-specific" and "content-specific" issues that addressed either the process of the interaction or its content. The results demonstrated that patient-users tended to evaluate each system on the basis of how it fit into everyday life and corresponded to personal preferences. The methodology also allowed the system designers to understand users' concerns and the context of adoption in order to introduce necessary changes to the design to address such concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Evaluation
  • Human factor
  • Interactive health management systems
  • Usability testing


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