Patients need direct access to their health information to appropriately manage their care. Mobile applications (apps) may offer a way for individuals to easily access and use their health information. However, there is limited evidence regarding what specific information patients can and should receive on mobile apps, how patients can access this information, and what factors influence patients’ app use. Additional concerns about apps, such as lack of cultural competence, methodologic rigor, and usage evaluation, compound these challenges.
To tackle these problems, the University of Texas at Austin will develop and test a patient engagement platform to support an ecosystem of mobile apps intended to enhance opportunities for underrepresented populations.
The platform is intended to help these groups better participate in health research and care, address patient security and privacy needs, demonstrate user-centered design approaches, and allow for appropriate data sharing from disparate sources across patients, clinicians, and researchers.
This project addresses the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health Information Technology (Health IT) fiscal year 2019 special area of interest 2: Design, Develop, and Demonstrate Enhanced Patient Engagement Technologies for Care and Research.
This project began in 2019 and will end in 2021.
The goals of this project are to:
- Design and develop an innovative patient-engaged technology (PET) platform to empower patients to gain and give access to their health data without special effort while ensuring privacy and security of personal information.
- Test the PET platform’s ability to use data from different sources related to healthcare, social services, and research.
- Test the PET platform’s technical scalability as an open-source solution with patients representing underserved populations.
- Work with usability and human-centered design researchers, a community-based participatory research team, and the Community Strategy Team that represents patients who belong to underserved populations in Austin, Texas.
- Evaluate the adoption and usability of the technology solution in a diverse patient group in the community—in a health literacy–sensitive and culturally competent manner—by linking patient-specific healthcare and social services data on a platform using apps for social service referrals and clinical research coordination.