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Journal Description

The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), now in its 20th year, is the pioneer open access eHealth journal and is the flagship journal of JMIR Publications. It is the leading digital health journal globally in terms of quality/visibility (Impact Factor 2018: 4.945, ranked #1 out of 26 journals in the medical informatics category) and in terms of size (number of papers published). The journal focuses on emerging technologies, medical devices, apps, engineering, and informatics applications for patient education, prevention, population health and clinical care. As a leading high-impact journal in its disciplines (health informatics and health services research), it is selective, but it is now complemented by almost 30 specialty JMIR sister journals, which have a broader scope. Peer-review reports are portable across JMIR journals and papers can be transferred, so authors save time by not having to resubmit a paper to different journals. 

As an open access journal, we are read by clinicians, allied health professionals, informal caregivers, and patients alike, and have (as with all JMIR journals) a focus on readable and applied science reporting the design and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies. We publish original research, viewpoints, and reviews (both literature reviews and medical device/technology/app reviews).

We are also a leader in participatory and open science approaches, and offer the option to publish new submissions immediately as preprints, which receive DOIs for immediate citation (eg, in grant proposals), and for open peer-review purposes. We also invite patients to participate (eg, as peer-reviewers) and have patient representatives on editorial boards.

Be a widely cited leader in the digitial health revolution and submit your paper today!

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Jan Vašek; URL: https://pixabay.com/photos/iphone-smartphone-apps-apple-inc-410311/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Comparing Characteristics of Patients Who Connect Their iPhones to an Electronic Health Records System Versus Patients Who Connect Without Personal Devices:...

    Abstract:

    Background: While individual access to health records has traditionally been through paper and other physical media, there has been a recent push toward digitizing this process. Direct patient access to health data through application programming interfaces (APIs) is an important part of current United States policy initiatives, and Apple has created the product “Health Records on iPhone” to leverage APIs for this purpose. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the characteristics of patients at our institution who connected their personal iPhone devices to our electronic health records (EHRs) system through “Health Records on iPhone”, as compared to patients at our institution who used our patient portal but did not connect a personal device to our system. Methods: We examined adult patients at our institution who had authorized an iPhone device to download their health data from the Partners HealthCare EHR via APIs through “Health Records on iPhone” from February 18, 2018 (the date this feature was enabled at our health system) until February 17, 2019. We compared these patients to adult patients who used our portal at least once during this period but did not authorize an iPhone device to download their data via APIs. Results: Variables associated with an increased likelihood of using “Health Records on iPhone” included male gender (adjusted OR 3.36; 95% CI 3.11-3.62; P<.001) and younger age, particularly below 50 years of age. With each decade of age over 50, people were less likely to be “Health Records on iPhone” product users. Asian patients were more likely to use the product than Caucasian patients (adjusted OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.16-1.51; P<.001), though there was no significant difference between African Americans and Caucasians (adjusted OR 1.15; 95% CI 0.94-1.41; P=.17). Patients who resided in higher ZIP code income quartiles were more likely to be users than those in the lowest quartile. Conclusions: Early results from the implementation of patient-facing APIs at a single institution suggest that there are opportunities for expanding these technologies to ensure all patients are aware of, and have access to, their health data on their personal devices. More work is needed on expanding these technologies to different patient populations.

  • Source: rawpixel.com / Pexels; Copyright: rawpixel.com; URL: https://www.pexels.com/photo/four-person-holding-app-banners-1059114/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Public Views on Models for Accessing Genomic and Health Data for Research: Mixed Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: The literature abounds with increasing numbers of research studies using genomic data in combination with health data (eg, health records and phenotypic and lifestyle data), with great potential for large-scale research and precision medicine. However, concerns have been raised about social acceptability and risks posed for individuals and their kin. Although there has been public engagement on various aspects of this topic, there is a lack of information about public views on data access models. Methods: Views were ascertained using a series of 8 public workshops (N=116). The workshops included an explanation of benefits and risks in using genomic data with health data, a facilitated discussion, and an exit questionnaire. The resulting quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, and the qualitative data were analyzed for emerging themes. Results: Respondents placed a high value on the reuse of genomic data but raised concerns including data misuse, information governance, and discrimination. They showed a preference for giving consent and use of data within a safe haven over external release or open access. Perceived risks with open access included data being used by unscrupulous parties, with external release included data security, and with safe havens included the need for robust safeguards. Conclusions: This is the first known study exploring public views of access models for reusing anonymized genomic and health data in research. It indicated that people are generally amenable but prefer data safe havens because of perceived sensitivities. We recommend that public views be incorporated into guidance on models for the reuse of genomic and health data.

  • Source: Pressmaster / Shutterstock; Copyright: Pressmaster; URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/portrait-sporty-females-doing-physical-exercise-73663168; License: Licensed by the authors.

    The Association Between Web-Based or Face-to-Face Lifestyle Interventions on the Perceived Benefits and Barriers to Exercise in Midlife Women: Three-Arm...

    Abstract:

    Background: Noncommunicable diseases pose a significant threat to women’s health globally, with most diseases being attributed to modifiable risk factors such as physical inactivity. Women perceive a range of benefits and barriers to exercise; however, there is little evidence about the effect of different lifestyle intervention delivery modes on perceptions of exercise. Objective: This study aimed to compare the effect of a multiple health behavior change (MHBC) intervention called the Women’s Wellness Program. This intervention was delivered in 3 different modes on perceived exercise benefits, perceived exercise barriers, and actual physical activity and exercise in midlife women. Methods: Women aged 45 to 65 years were recruited via the study website. They were assigned in blocks to 3 different treatment groups (A: Web-based independent; B: face-to-face with nurse consultations; and C: Web-based with virtual nurse consultations). All participants received the 12-week intervention that utilizes principles from social-cognitive theory to provide a structured guide to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors with an emphasis on regular exercise and healthy eating. Data were collected using a self-report Web-based questionnaire at baseline (T1) and postintervention (T2) including perceived exercise benefits and barriers and exercise and physical activity. A data analysis examined both within- and between-group changes over time. Results: Participants in this study (N=225) had a mean age of 50.9 years (SD 5.9) and most were married or living with a partner (83.3%, 185/225). Attrition was 30.2% with 157 participants completing the final questionnaire. Women in all intervention groups reported a significant increase in positive perceptions of exercise (P<.05); a significant increase in exercise and overall physical activity (P<.01) with moderate-to-large effect sizes noted for overall physical activity (d=0.5 to d=0.87). Participants receiving support from registered nurses in the face-to-face and Web-based groups had a greater magnitude of change in benefit perceptions and physical activity than those in the Web-based independent group. There was no significant change in exercise barrier perceptions within or between groups over time. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the (MHBC) intervention is effective in increasing exercise benefit perceptions, overall physical activity, and exercise in midlife women. Although Web-based programs are cost-effective and flexible and can be delivered remotely, providing a range of options including face-to-face group delivery and personalized electronic health coaching from registered nurses has the potential to enhance participant engagement and motivation.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Medill DC; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/medilldc/5815309247/in/album-72157626799063227/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Design and Evaluation of a Contextual Model for Information Retrieval From Web-Scale Discovery Services to Improve Evidence-Based Practice by Health Care...

    Abstract:

    Background: Practicing evidence-based health care is challenging because of overwhelming results presented to practitioners by Google-like Web-scale discovery (WSD) services that index millions of resources while retrieving information based on relevancy algorithms with limited consideration for user information need. Methods: We identified problems from literature to support real-world requirements for this study. We used design science research methodology to guide artefact design. We iteratively improved prototype of the context model using artificial formative evaluation. We performed naturalistic summative evaluation using convergent interviewing of health care practitioners and content analysis from a confirmatory focus group consisting of health researchers to evaluate the model’s validity and utility. Results: The study iteratively designed and applied the context model to a WSD service to meet 5 identified requirements. All 5 health care practitioners interviewed found the artefact satisfied the 5 requirements to successfully evaluate the model as having validity and utility. Content analysis results from the confirmatory focus group mapped top 5 descriptors per requirement to support a true hypothesis that there is significant discussion among participants to justify concluding that the artefact had validity and utility. Conclusions: The context model for WSD satisfied all requirements and was evaluated successfully for information retrieval to improve EBP. Outcomes from this study justify further research into the model.

  • Source: abyssrealdoll / Instagram; Copyright: Unknown; URL: https://www.instagram.com/p/BvmfgW7nmtU/; License: Fair use/fair dealings.

    The Attitudes of Therapists and Physicians on the Use of Sex Robots in Sexual Therapy: Online Survey and Interview Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Various types of robots have already been successfully used in medical care, and the use of new technologies is also playing an increasing role in the area of sexuality. Sex robots are marketed as advanced sex toys and sex dolls with artificial intelligence. Only a few considerations about the therapeutic use of sex robots in sexual therapy are debated in expert discussions. Methods: This study comprised a quantitative online survey and a qualitative interview study. A self-constructed questionnaire was used to survey the general attitudes of sex therapists and physicians regarding the benefits of sex robots in therapy. The qualitative study was designed to gain in-depth insight into the participants’ beliefs and attitudes. Therefore, semistructured interviews were conducted. The quantitative data were evaluated by statistical analysis, and the interviews were transcribed and analyzed by using a grounded theory approach. Results: A total of 72 sex therapists and physicians completed our self-constructed questionnaire (response rate 15%, 72/480). Only a few respondents (11%, 8/72) said that the use of sex robots was not conceivable for them, and almost half of all therapists and physicians could imagine recommending sex robots in therapy (45%, 33/72). The attitude toward sex robots as a therapeutic tool was very heterogeneous, with gender (P=.006), age (P=.03), and occupational differences (P=.05); female therapists, older therapists, and psychologists (in contrast to physicians) were more critical toward the therapeutic use of sex robots. The analysis of the 5 interviews identified 3 high-level core themes that were representative of the participants’ responses: (1) the importance of the personal definition of sex robots for the assessment of their therapeutic benefits, (2) therapeutic benefits and dangers of sex robots, and (3) considerations on the quality of human-robot sexuality. Initial insights into the possible therapeutic use of sex robots in different disorders (eg, sexual dysfunction or pedophilia) and situations were gained from the perspective of sex therapists. Conclusions: The results of this study provide a first overview of the potential therapeutic use of sex robots. Moral, ethical, and treatment-related issues in this context are still unresolved and need to be further researched. We suggest integrating the topic into the training of sex therapists to form opinions beyond media images and to show therapy possibilities. Scientists engaged in sexual research should be involved in the development of sex robots to design robots with positive effects on sexual education, sexual therapy, sexual counseling, and sexual well-being for interested groups.

  • Source: freepik; Copyright: peoplecreations; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/doctor-interacting-with-patient-medical-office-hospital_1006264.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Patient and Health Care Provider Experiences With a Recently Introduced Patient Portal in an Academic Hospital in the Netherlands: Mixed Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: In the Netherlands, the health care system and related information technology landscape are fragmented. Recently, hospitals have started to launch patient portals. It is not clear how these portals are used by patients and their health care providers (HCPs). Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the adoption, use, usability, and usefulness of a recently introduced patient portal in an academic hospital to learn lessons for the implementation of patient portals in a fragmented health care system. Methods: A mixed methods study design was used. In the quantitative study arm, characteristics of patients who used the portal were analyzed, in addition to the utilization of the different functionalities of the portal. In the qualitative study arms, think-aloud observations were made to explore usability. Focus group discussions were conducted among patients and HCPs of the dermatology and ophthalmology outpatient departments. Thematic content analysis of qualitative data was carried out and overarching themes were identified using a framework analysis. Results: One year after the introduction of the portal, 24,514 patients, 13.49% of all patients who visited the hospital, had logged in to the portal. Adoption of the portal was associated with the age group 45 to 75 years, a higher socioeconomic status, and having at least one medical diagnosis. Overarching themes from the qualitative analyses were (1) usability and user-friendliness of the portal, (2) HCP-patient communication through the portal, (3) usefulness of the information that can be accessed through the portal, (4) integration of the portal in care and work processes, and (5) HCP and patient roles and relationships. Conclusions: One year after the introduction of the patient portal, patients and HCPs who used the portal recognized the potential of the portal to engage patients in their care processes, facilitate patient-HCP communication, and increase patient convenience. Uncertainties among patients and HCPs about how to use the messaging functionality and limited integration of the portal in care and work processes are likely to have limited portal use and usefulness.

  • A researcher selecting among various wearable sensors for a human behavior study. Source: Robert Scoble / FlickR; Copyright: Robert Scoble; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/35034363287@N01/5455106314; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Multimodal Human and Environmental Sensing for Longitudinal Behavioral Studies in Naturalistic Settings: Framework for Sensor Selection, Deployment, and...

    Abstract:

    Background: Recent advances in mobile technologies for sensing human biosignals are empowering researchers to collect real-world data outside of the laboratory, in natural settings where participants can perform their daily activities with minimal disruption. These new sensing opportunities usher a host of challenges and constraints for both researchers and participants. Methods: This paper presents a collection of challenges, consideration criteria, and potential solutions for enabling researchers to select and manage appropriate sensors for their research studies. It explains a general data collection framework suitable for use with modern consumer sensors, enabling researchers to address many of the described challenges. In addition, it provides a description of the criteria affecting sensor selection, management, and integration that researchers should consider before beginning human behavior studies involving sensors. On the basis of a survey conducted in mid-2018, this paper further illustrates an organized snapshot of consumer-grade human sensing technologies that can be used for human behavior research in natural settings. Results: The research team applied the collection of methods and criteria to a case study aimed at predicting the well-being of nurses and other staff in a hospital. Average daily compliance for sensor usage measured by the presence of data exceeding half the total possible hours each day was about 65%, yielding over 355,000 hours of usable sensor data across 212 participants. A total of 6 notable unexpected events occurred during the data collection period, all of which had minimal impact on the research project. Conclusions: The satisfactory compliance rates and minimal impact of unexpected events during the case study suggest that the challenges, criteria, methods, and mitigation strategies presented as a guide for researchers are helpful for sensor selection and management in longitudinal human behavior studies in the wild.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Andrew Yin; URL: http://www.jmir.org/2019/8/e14630/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Digital Health Apps in the Clinical Care of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Scoping Review

    Abstract:

    Background: Digital health is poised to transform health care and redefine personalized health. As Internet and mobile phone usage increases, as technology develops new ways to collect data, and as clinical guidelines change, all areas of medicine face new challenges and opportunities. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of many chronic diseases that may benefit from these advances in digital health. This review intends to lay a foundation for clinicians and technologists to understand future directions and opportunities together. Objective: This review covers mobile health apps that have been used in IBD, how they have fit into a clinical care framework, and the challenges that clinicians and technologists face in approaching future opportunities. Methods: We searched PubMed, Scopus, and ClinicalTrials.gov to identify mobile apps that have been studied and were published in the literature from January 1, 2010, to April 19, 2019. The search terms were (“mobile health” OR “eHealth” OR “digital health” OR “smart phone” OR “mobile app” OR “mobile applications” OR “mHealth” OR “smartphones”) AND (“IBD” OR “Inflammatory bowel disease” OR “Crohn's Disease” (CD) OR “Ulcerative Colitis” (UC) OR “UC” OR “CD”), followed by further analysis of citations from the results. We searched the Apple iTunes app store to identify a limited selection of commercial apps to include for discussion. Results: A total of 68 articles met the inclusion criteria. A total of 11 digital health apps were identified in the literature and 4 commercial apps were selected to be described in this review. While most apps have some educational component, the majority of apps focus on eliciting patient-reported outcomes related to disease activity, and a few are for treatment management. Significant benefits have been seen in trials relating to education, quality of life, quality of care, treatment adherence, and medication management. No studies have reported a negative impact on any of the above. There are mixed results in terms of effects on office visits and follow-up. Conclusions: While studies have shown that digital health can fit into, complement, and improve the standard clinical care of patients with IBD, there is a need for further validation and improvement, from both a clinical and patient perspective. Exploring new research methods, like microrandomized trials, may allow for more implementation of technology and rapid advancement of knowledge. New technologies that can objectively and seamlessly capture remote data, as well as complement the clinical shift from symptom-based to inflammation-based care, will help the clinical and health technology communities to understand the full potential of digital health in the care of IBD and other chronic illnesses.

  • Source: Unsplash; Copyright: ALIAKSEI LEPIK; URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/924GHQKKNGo; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Potential for Integrating Mental Health Specialist Video Consultations in Office-Based Routine Primary Care: Cross-Sectional Qualitative Study Among Family...

    Abstract:

    Background: Although real-time mental health specialist video consultations have been proposed as an effective care model for treating patients with mental health conditions in primary care, little is known about their integration into routine practice from the perspective of family physicians. Objective: This study aimed to determine the degree to which family physicians advocate that mental health specialist video consultations can be integrated into routine primary care, where most patients with mental health conditions receive treatment. Methods: In a cross-sectional qualitative study, we conducted 4 semistructured focus groups and 3 telephonic interviews in a sample of 19 family physicians from urban and rural districts. We conducted a qualitative content analysis applying the Tailored Implementation in Chronic Diseases framework in a combined bottom-up (data-driven) and top-down strategy for deriving key domains. Results: Family physicians indicated that mental health specialist video consultations are a promising and practical way to address the most pressing challenges in current practice, that is, to increase the accessibility and co-ordination of specialized care. Individual health professional factors were the most frequently discussed topics. Specifically, family physicians valued the anticipated clinical outcomes for patients and the anticipated resources set for the primary care practice as major facilitators (16/19, 84%). However, family physicians raised a concern regarding a lack of facial expressions and physical interaction (19/19, 100%), especially in emergency situations. Therefore, most family physicians considered a viable emergency plan for mental health specialist video consultations that clearly delineates the responsibilities and tasks of both family physicians and mental health specialists to be essential (11/19, 58%). Social, political, and legal factors, as well as guideline factors, were hardly discussed as prerequisites for individual family physicians to integrate mental health specialist video consultations into routine care. To facilitate the implementation of future mental health specialist video consultation models, we compiled a checklist of recommendations that covers (1) buy-in from practices (eg, emphasizing logistical and psychological relief for the practice), (2) the engagement of patients (eg, establishing a trusted patient-provider relationship), (3) the setup and conduct of consultations (eg, reliable emergency plans), and (4) the fostering of collaboration between family physicians and mental health specialists (eg, kick-off meetings to build trust). Conclusions: By leveraging the primary care practice as a familiar environment for patients, mental health specialist video consultations provide timely specialist support and potentially lead to benefits for patients and more efficient processes of care. Integration should account for the determinants of practice as described by the family physicians. Trial Registration: German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00012487; https://www.drks.de/drks_web/navigate.do? navigationId=trial.HTML&TRIAL_ID=DRKS00012487

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: jannoon028; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/loei-thailand-may-10-2017-hand-holding-samsung-s8-with-mobile-application-facebook-screen_1254944.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Using Facebook Advertising to Recruit Representative Samples: Feasibility Assessment of a Cross-Sectional Survey

    Abstract:

    Background: Facebook has shown promise as an economical means of recruiting participants for health research. However, few studies have evaluated this recruitment method in Canada, fewer still targeting older adults, and, to our knowledge, none specifically in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Objective: This study aimed to assess Facebook advertising as an economical means of recruiting a representative sample of adults aged 35 to 74 years in NL for a cross-sectional health survey. Methods: Facebook advertising was used to recruit for a Web-based survey on cancer awareness and prevention during April and May 2018; during recruitment, additional advertisements were targeted to increase representation of demographics that we identified as being underrepresented in our sample. Sociodemographic and health characteristics of the study sample were compared with distributions of the underlying population to determine representativeness. Cramer V indicates the magnitude of the difference between the sample and population distributions, interpreted as small (Cramer V=0.10), medium (0.30), and large (0.50). Sample characteristics were considered representative if there was no statistically significant difference in distributions (chi-square P>.01) or if the difference was small (V≤0.10), and practically representative if 0.10

  • Several files that can be used to document and reflect on a development process. Source: Shutterstock; Copyright: Rawpixel.com; URL: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/business-people-meeting-design-ideas-concept-362158346; License: Licensed by the authors.

    The Importance of Systematically Reporting and Reflecting on eHealth Development: Participatory Development Process of a Virtual Reality Application for...

    Abstract:

    Background: The use of electronic health (eHealth) technologies in practice often is lower than expected, mostly because there is no optimal fit among a technology, the characteristics of prospective users, and their context. To improve this fit, a thorough systematic development process is recommended. However, more knowledge about suitable development methods is necessary to create a tool kit that guides researchers in choosing development methods that are appropriate for their context and users. In addition, there is a need for reflection on the existing frameworks for eHealth development to be able to constantly improve them. Objective: The two main objectives of this case study were to present and reflect on the (1) methods used in the development process of a virtual reality application for forensic mental health care and (2) development model that was used: the CeHRes Roadmap (the Centre for eHealth Research Roadmap). Methods: In the development process, multiple methods were used to operationalize the first 2 phases of the CeHRes Roadmap: the contextual inquiry and value specification. To summarize the most relevant information for the goals of this study, the following information was extracted per method: (1) research goal, (2) explanation of the method used, (3) main results, (4) main conclusions, and (5) lessons learned about the method. Results: Information on 10 methods used is presented in a structured manner. These 10 methods were stakeholder identification, project team composition, focus groups, literature study, semistructured interviews, idea generation with scenarios, Web-based questionnaire, value specification, idea generation with prototyping, and a second round of interviews. The lessons learned showed that although each method added new insights to the development process, not every method appeared to be the most appropriate for each research goal. Conclusions: Reflection on the methods used pointed out that brief methods with concrete examples or scenarios fit the forensic psychiatric patients the best, among other things, because of difficulties with abstract reasoning and low motivation to invest much time in participating in research. Formulating clear research questions based on a model’s underlying principles and composing a multidisciplinary project team with prospective end users appeared to be important in this study. The research questions supported the project team in keeping the complex development processes structured and prevented tunnel vision. With regard to the CeHRes Roadmap, continuous stakeholder involvement and formative evaluations were evaluated as strong points. A suggestion to further improve the Roadmap is to explicitly integrate the use of domain-specific theories and models. To create a tool kit with a broad range of methods for eHealth development and further improve development models, studies that report and reflect on development processes in a consistent and structured manner are needed.

  • Source: Pexels / Pixabay; Copyright: Pexels; URL: https://pixabay.com/photos/adult-body-casual-close-up-1867757/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Comparison of Physical Activity Mobile Apps With and Without Existing Web-Based Social Networking Platforms: Systematic Review

    Abstract:

    Background: Physical activity mobile apps present a unique medium to disseminate scalable interventions to increase levels of physical activity. However, the effectiveness of mobile apps has previously been limited by low levels of engagement. Existing Web-based social networking platforms (eg, Facebook and Twitter) afford high levels of popularity, reach, and sustain engagement and, thus, may present an innovative strategy to enhance the engagement, and ultimately the effectiveness of mobile apps. Methods: A systematic review was conducted by following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Guidelines. A systematic search of the following databases was conducted: Medline, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, ProQuest, SPORTDiscus, EMBASE, and Cochrane. According to the comparative objective of this review, 2 independent literature searches were conducted. The first incorporated terms related to apps and physical activity; the second also incorporated terms related to Web-based social networking. The results of the two searches were synthesized and compared narratively. Results: A total of 15 studies were identified, 10 incorporated a physical activity app alone and 5 incorporated an app in conjunction with an existing Web-based social networking platform. Overall, 10 of the 15 interventions were effective in improving one or more physical activity behaviors. Specifically, improvements in physical activity behaviors were reported in 7 of the 10 interventions incorporating physical activity apps alone and in 3 of the 5 interventions incorporating physical activity apps in conjunction with existing Web-based social networking platforms. Interventions incorporating physical activity apps alone demonstrated a decline in app engagement. In contrast, the physical activity apps in conjunction with existing Web-based social networking platforms showed increased and sustained intervention engagement. Conclusions: The interventions incorporating physical activity apps in conjunction with and without existing Web-based social networking platforms demonstrated effectiveness in improving physical activity behaviors. Notably, however, the interventions that incorporated existing Web-based social networking platforms achieved higher levels of engagement than those that did not. This review provides preliminary evidence that existing Web-based social networking platforms may be fundamental to increase engagement with physical activity interventions.

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    Background: The development and application of clinical prediction models using machine learning in clinical decision support systems has attracted increasing attention. Objective: The aim of this stu...

    Background: The development and application of clinical prediction models using machine learning in clinical decision support systems has attracted increasing attention. Objective: The aim of this study is to develop a prediction model for cardiac arrest using machine learning and sequential characteristics in emergency department (ED) and to perform validations for clinical usefulness. Methods: This retrospective study was conducted for ED patients from a tertiary academic hospital that suffered cardiac arrest. To resolve the class imbalance problem, sampling was performed using propensity score matching. The dataset was randomly allocated to the development cohort (80%) and the validation cohort (20%). We trained three machine learning algorithms with repeated 10-fold cross-validation. Results: The main performance parameters were the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), the area under the precision-recall curve (AUPRC). The random forest algorithm (AUROC = 0.97; AUPRC = 0.85) outperformed the recurrent neural network (AUROC = 0.96; AUPRC = 0.80) and the logistic regression algorithm (AUROC=0.92; AUPRC=0.72). The model performance over time was maintained with AUROC of at least 80% across monitoring time points during 24 hours before event occurrence. Conclusions: We developed a cardiac arrest prediction model using machine learning and sequential characteristics in ED. The model was validated for clinical usefulness using chronological visualisation focused on clinical usability.

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    Background: Rapid HPV DNA testing is an emerging cervical cancer screening strategy in resource-limited countries, yet it requires follow-up of women who test HPV-positive. Objective: We conducted a r...

    Background: Rapid HPV DNA testing is an emerging cervical cancer screening strategy in resource-limited countries, yet it requires follow-up of women who test HPV-positive. Objective: We conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine if one-way text messages improved attendance to a 14-months follow-up cervical cancer screening among HPV-positive women. Methods: This multi-centre, parallel-group randomized controlled trial was conducted at three hospitals in Tanzania. Eligible participants were between 25-60 years, had tested positive to a rapid HPV-test during a patient-initiated screening, been informed of their HPV-result, and had a private mobile phone with a valid number. Participants were randomly assigned 1:1 into the intervention or control group through an incorporated algorithm in the text message system. The intervention group received one-way text messages, and the control group received no text messages. The primary outcome was attendance to a 14-months health provider-initiated follow-up screening. Participants were not blinded but outcome assessors were. The analysis was intention-to-treat. Results: Between August 2015 and July 2017, 4080 women were screened for cervical cancer of which 705 were included into this trial; 358 were allocated to the intervention group and 347 to the control group. Sixteen women were excluded prior to analysis due to developing cervical cancer or dying (eight from each group). In the intervention group, 84 women (24%) attended their follow-up screening, and in the control group 80 women (24%) attended (RR: 1.02; 95% CI: 0.79-1.33). Conclusions: Attendance to a health provider-initiated follow-up cervical cancer screening among HPV-positive women was strikingly low, and one-way text messages did not improve the attendance rate. Implementation of rapid HPV-testing as a primary screening method at clinic level entails a challenge of ensuring a proper follow-up of women. Clinical Trial: ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT02509702.

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    Open Peer Review Period: Aug 14, 2019 - Oct 9, 2019

    Background: Most commercial activity trackers are developed as consumer devices and not as clinical devices. The aim is to monitor and motivate sport activities, healthy living, and similar wellness p...

    Background: Most commercial activity trackers are developed as consumer devices and not as clinical devices. The aim is to monitor and motivate sport activities, healthy living, and similar wellness purposes and the devices are not designed to support care management in a clinical context. There are great expectations for using wearable sensor devices in healthcare settings and the separate realms of wellness tracking and disease self-monitoring is increasingly becoming blurred. However, patients’ experiences with activity-tracking technologies designed for use outside the clinical context have received little academic attention. Objective: This study contributes to understanding how patients with a chronic disease experience activity data from consumer self-tracking devices related to self-care and their chronic illness. Our research question was: “How do heart patients experience activity data in relation to self-care and chronic illness?”. Methods: We conducted an explorative intervention study with patients with a heart arrhythmia (N = 27) who had an implanted cardioverter defibrillator, living in Denmark. The average age was 57,2 (twenty-five male and two female). Patients were invited to wear a wristband activity tracker for a minimum of three months and provide their perspectives on what experiences the data accentuate. Semi-structured interviews (N = 66) were conducted with patients 1–5 times and were analyzed iteratively in workshops using thematic analysis. Results: Eighteen out of twenty-seven patients related the heart rate, sleep, and step-count data directly to their heart disease. Wearable activity trackers actualized patients’ experiences across three dimensions with a spectrum of contrasting experiences: (1) Knowing, which spanned gaining insight and evoking doubts; (2) Feeling, which spanned being reassured and becoming anxious; and (3) Evaluating, which spanned promoting improvements and exposing failure. Conclusions: Patients’ experiences could reside more on one end of the spectrum across all three dimensions, or they could combine contrasting positions and even move across the spectrum over time. Activity data from wearable devices may be a resource for self-care; however, it may simultaneously constrain and create uncertainty, fear, and anxiety. By showing how patients experience self-tracking data across dimensions of knowing, feeling, and evaluating, we point toward the richness and complexity of these data experiences in the context of chronic illness.

  • Identifying Military Veterans in a Clinical Research Database using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

    Date Submitted: Aug 13, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Aug 13, 2019 - Oct 8, 2019

    Background: Electronic healthcare records (EHRs) are a rich source of health-related information, with huge potential for secondary research use. In the United Kingdom (UK), there is no national marke...

    Background: Electronic healthcare records (EHRs) are a rich source of health-related information, with huge potential for secondary research use. In the United Kingdom (UK), there is no national marker for identifying those who have previously served in the Armed Forces, making analysis of the health and well-being of veterans using EHRs difficult. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a tool to identify veterans from free-text clinical notes recorded in a psychiatric EHR database. Methods: Veterans were manually identified using the South London and Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre Clinical Record Interactive Search – a database holding secondary mental health care electronic records for the South London and Maudsley National Health Service Trust. An iteratively developed Natural Language Processing and machine learning approach called the Veteran Detection Tool (VDT) was created to identify if a patient was a civilian or veteran. Results: To develop the VDT, an iterative two-stage approach was undertaken. In the first stage, a Structured Query Language approach was developed to identify veterans using a keyword rule-based approach. This scoping approach obtained a precision of 0.81, and a recall of 0.75. This approach informed the second stage, which was the development of the VDT using machine learning. In total, 6672 gold standard free-text clinical notes were manually annotated by human coders, 66% were retained for training, and 34% for testing. Conclusions: The VDT has the potential to be used in identifying veterans in the UK from free-text clinical notes, providing new and unique insights into the health and well-being of this population and their use of mental healthcare services.

  • Developing and Evaluating the Quality of a New Patient Education Video on Colonoscopy Preparation

    Date Submitted: Aug 8, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Aug 12, 2019 - Oct 7, 2019

    Background: Although several patient education materials on colonoscopy preparation exist, few studies have evaluated or compared them, and hence no professional consensus on recommended content or me...

    Background: Although several patient education materials on colonoscopy preparation exist, few studies have evaluated or compared them, and hence no professional consensus on recommended content or media to use. Objective: We aimed to address this need by developing and evaluating a new video on colonoscopy preparation. Methods: We developed a new video explaining split-dose bowel preparation for colonoscopy. Of similar content videos on the Internet (n=20), the most favourably reviewed video among patient and physician advisors was used as the comparator for the study. 232 individuals attending gastroenterology or urology clinics reviewed the new and comparator videos. The order of administration of the new and comparator videos was randomly counterbalanced to assess the impact of presentation order. Respondents rated each video along the following dimensions: information amount, clarity, trustworthiness, understandability, new or familiar information, reassurance, information learned, understanding from patient’s point of view, appeal, and likelihood to recommend the video to others. Results: Overall, 71.6% preferred the new video, 25.0% preferred the comparator video, and 3.4% were not sure. 64% of those who viewed the new video first, preferred it, while 78% who viewed the new video second preferred it. Multivariable logistic regression analysis also demonstrated that participants were more likely to prefer the new video if they had viewed it second. Participants who preferred the new video rated it as more clear and trustworthy compared with those who preferred the comparator video. Conclusions: This study developed and assessed the strengths of a newly developed colonoscopy educational video.

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