Design and Evaluation in eHealth: Challenges and Implications for an Interdisciplinary Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Much has been written about insufficient user involvement in the design of eHealth applications, the lack of evidence demonstrating impact, and the difficulties these bring for adoption. Part of the problem lies in the differing languages, cultures, motives, and operational constraints of producers and evaluators of eHealth systems and services. This paper reflects on the benefits of and barriers to interdisciplinary collaboration in eHealth, focusing particularly on the relationship between software developers and health services researchers. It argues that the common pattern of silo or parallel working may be ameliorated by developing mutual awareness and respect for each others’ methods, epistemologies, and contextual drivers and by recognizing and harnessing potential synergies. Similarities and differences between models and techniques used in both communities are highlighted in order to illustrate the potential for integrated approaches and the strengths of unique paradigms. By sharing information about our research approaches and seeking to actively collaborate in the process of design and evaluation, the aim of achieving technologies that are truly user-informed, fit for context, high quality, and of demonstrated value is more likely to be realized. This may involve embracing new ways of working jointly that are unfamiliar to the stakeholders involved and that challenge disciplinary conventions. It also has policy implications for agencies commissioning research and development in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • eHealth
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Method
  • Software design
  • Evaluation
  • Theory
  • Medical Informatics


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