Designing an indoor air quality monitoring app for asthma management in children: User-centered design approach

Sunyoung Kim, Yunoh Park, Matthew K. Ackerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Indoor air pollution is a well-known risk factor that triggers and exacerbates asthma, the most common pediatric chronic disease. Using a mobile app to monitor indoor air quality could be promising in engaging children in keeping their indoor air quality clean and healthy as secondary environmental prevention for asthma management. However, no app is available to allow children to monitor, assess, and improve their indoor air quality. Objective: This study aims to design a mobile app that encourages children to monitor indoor air quality and track their asthma conditions through a user-centered, iterative design approach. Methods: We reviewed existing apps for indoor air quality monitoring or asthma management for children and conducted two sets of semistructured interviews with 12 children with asthma. We then iteratively created prototypes and evaluated and revised them. Results: Participants raised a series of outstanding questions on the prototype features and content that described their needs and perspectives, which informed the final designs. Following the identified requirements and recommendations, we developed two versions of the app: AirBuddy for presenting concrete information for indoor air quality and AirPet for gamifying the practice of monitoring indoor air quality. Conclusions: By following an iterative, user-centered design process, we developed two versions of an app to encourage children with asthma to monitor indoor air quality and track their asthma condition. The user-centered design approach revealed two crucial aspects that require deeper consideration when creating a child-friendly app, including balancing brevity and expressivity and considering the longitudinal effects of gamification. As a next step, we plan to conduct a longitudinal deployment study to evaluate the real-world effects of our apps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27447
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Volume5
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Children
  • Indoor air quality
  • Mobile app
  • Smartphone
  • User-centered design

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