Universally Designed mHealth App for Individuals Aging with Multiple Sclerosis
Mahajan, Harshal P.
Sanford, Jon A.
MetadataShow full item record
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) presents with chronic symptoms that share many of the functional limitations associated with aging. Additionally, following the period of five years post-diagnosis a large number of individuals diagnosed with MS experience a major decline in their abilities due to the progression of MS. Consequently, they need to learn how to cope with the functional limitations caused by the disease and in addition to those caused by aging. These individuals have to manage the effects of the disease on their lives every day. mHealth apps provide potential support for disease self-management. However, the number of mobile apps design specifically for individuals with MS is inadequate. Additionally, there is no evidence that utility and usability of these current consumer mobile apps were tested with their target population. This research paper describes the design of the mHealth app MS Assistant, an evidence-based app that provides the daily support and self-management of the disease to individuals aging with MS. It was developed based on the Universal Design Mobile Interface Guidelines, UDMIG v.2.1 and the results of the two previous studies that assessed the health and wellness self-management needs in individuals with MS and tested the usability of current mHealth apps. The paper presents an app refinement based on the suggestions of the expert reviewers who tested the effectiveness of the implementation of the UDMIG v.2.1 in the app design and provided possible recommendations for its redesign.