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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Youth-centered design and usage results of the iN Touch mobile self-management program for overweight/obesity

  • Author(s): Kim, KK
  • Logan, HC
  • Young, E
  • Sabee, CM
  • et al.

© 2014, Springer-Verlag London. Overweight/obesity among youth is a grave concern in the USA due to its potential impact on illness such as hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and asthma. This paper reports on the design and usage of iN Touch, a mobile self-management application for tracking observations of daily living (ODLs) in a health coaching program for low-income, urban, minority youth 13–24 years with overweight/obesity. We applied a youth-centered, participatory design approach to design and implementation of the technology and intervention with a representative 10-member youth advisory board. The recommendations were implemented prior to launching the technology in an intervention phase. The application with food, exercise, mood and socializing trackers along with pictures and notes was delivered on an iPod Touch to 24 participants. Mixed methods were applied to evaluate technology acceptance including system-generated data, questionnaires and exit interviews. There was good engagement among participants who recorded 2,117 ODLs over 6 months. The mean rating for usefulness was 3.50/5, SD = 1.18 and for ease of use, 3.83/5, SD = 1.27. Qualitative analysis of exit interviews found that design recommendations were fulfilled and the resulting technology was compelling. Future papers will report on the health impacts of iN Touch.

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