Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Bioengineering

Committee Member

Dr. Delphine Dean

Committee Member

Dr. John DesJardins

Committee Member

Dr. Ashley Childers

Abstract

The advent of mobile phones has led to global connectivity surpassing any global conversation previously known. However, despite having access to this global network through mobile devices and ever expanding internet access, many developing countries still lack basic medical technology. In many resource-poor medical settings, existing monitors used to process and display medical data received from various sensors (temperature, blood oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) are either missing or unreliable. Furthermore, these devices are rarely designed with an interface appropriate for the needs of the end user. Additionally, the use of mobile apps for medical purposes is increasing in developing nations. However, very little structure exists to properly evaluate the usability and potential of specific medical apps. My project aims to provide an alternative to traditional monitoring systems by creating a mobile application for smartphones and tablets that serves to display patient vital signs through a modality that is easily learned and understood by the targeted end user. My project proposes to utilize current mobile phone technology available in rural, developing communities, as well as clinical settings in developed countries, to process and display patient vital signs for diagnostic and point of care purposes. The focus of this study was the experimental analysis of the mobile application user interfaces to promote widespread acceptance and continuous use of the technology for more consistent recording of patient vital signs. Three user interfaces were created for both smartphone and tablet devices and tested at two locations: Oaxaca, Mexico and Clemson, SC. These interfaces were systematically reviewed by measuring potential end users' response to the technology following their direct interaction with the mobile applications. User experience was assessed using a survey that evaluated layout and function of the applications. Statistical analysis of the survey results revealed a variety of correlations between interface design and usability. It was also determined that the technology has the potential for widespread, global implementation. However, further studies integrating the mobile sensors into the interface design should be performed to determine the full potential of the technology.

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