MyTrack+: Human-centered design of an mHealth app to support long-term weight loss maintenance.

Frontiers in digital health(2024)

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A growing body of research has focused on the utility of adaptive intervention models for promoting long-term weight loss maintenance; however, evaluation of these interventions often requires customized smartphone applications. Building such an app from scratch can be resource-intensive. To support a novel clinical trial of an adaptive intervention for weight loss maintenance, we developed a companion app, MyTrack+, to pair with a main commercial app, FatSecret (FS), leveraging a user-centered design process for rapid prototyping and reducing software engineering efforts. MyTrack+ seamlessly integrates data from FS and the BodyTrace smart scale, enabling participants to log and self-monitor their health data, while also incorporating customized questionnaires and timestamps to enhance data collection for the trial. We iteratively refined the app by first developing initial mockups and incorporating feedback from a usability study with 17 university students. We further improved the app based on an in-the-wild pilot study with 33 participants in the target population, emphasizing acceptance, simplicity, customization options, and dual app usage. Our work highlights the potential of using an iterative human-centered design process to build a companion app that complements a commercial app for rapid prototyping, reducing costs, and enabling efficient research progress.
mHealth apps,human-centered design,weight management,adaptive interventions,self-monitoring,feedback
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