A mobile/web app for long distance caregivers of older adults: functional requirements and design implications from a user centered design process

Steven S. Williamson, Paul Gorman, Holly B. Jimison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Recent trends of population aging and globalization have required an increasing number of individuals to act as long distance caregivers (LDCs) to aging family members. Information technology solutions may ease the burden placed on LDCs by providing remote monitoring, easier access to information and enhanced communication. While some technology tools have been introduced, the information and technology needs of LDCs in particular are not well understood. Consequently, a needs assessment was performed by using video conferencing software to conduct semi-structured interviews with 10 LDCs. Interviews were enriched through the use of stimulus materials that included the demonstration of a prototype LDC health management web/mobile app. Responses were recorded, transcribed and then analyzed. Subjects indicated that information regarding medication regimens and adherence, calendaring, and cognitive health were most needed. Participants also described needs for video calling, activity data regarding sleep and physical exercise, asynchronous communication, photo sharing, journaling, access to online health resources, real-time monitoring, an overall summary of health, and feedback/suggestions to help them improve as caregivers. In addition, all respondents estimated their usage of a LDC health management website would be at least once per week, with half indicating a desire to access the website from a smartphone. These findings are being used to inform the design of a LDC health management website to promote the meaningful involvement of distant family members in the care of older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1960-1969
Number of pages10
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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