Making Mobile Health Technology Acceptable and Usable for Low-Income Safety-Net Patients

Date of Presentation: 
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
2017 Fall
Research Focus: 

Abstract - Mobile health technology (mHealth) can reduce health disparities by improving health engagement among low-income populations. However, most mHealth tools are not specifically designed for communities largely affected by poor health outcomes. To optimize mHealth interventions for low-income communities, an understanding of the following factors is necessary: (1) mobile technology knowledge and practices of low-income patients; (2) physicians’ perceptions of the value of digital healthcare technology to promote favorable health outcomes for their patients; (3) and the acceptability and usability of current health and medical-based apps for safety-net patients.
Community health center (CHC) patients in Washington State and Washington DC (N=159) completed a ‘knowledge and practices’ self-administered questionnaire, and separately, focus groups were conducted with the healthcare providers of the patients regarding feasibility of digital healthcare management.  The seminar will report CHC patients’ quantitative results and qualitative focus group findings of physicians’ perceptions. Additionally, a discussion will ensue about developing acceptable and usable mobile health technology tools that can effectively manage chronic diseases in low-income, safety-net patients.
Bio - Sharon S. Laing, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma, Nursing and Healthcare Leadership Program, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Washington Seattle, School of Public Health. She completed an undergraduate honors psychology degree at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, PhD at Howard University in Washington DC, and postdoctoral work in The Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute at Rutgers University, and University of Washington Seattle Health Promotion Research Center. Ms. Laing’s current work is a collaboration with HealthPoint Community Health Centers (CHCs) in Washington State, community service organizations in Washington DC, and Trinity Washington University; the collaborative research is  designed to formulate and delineate digital healthcare management needs of low-resource CHC patients and their healthcare providers.

Sharon S. Laing, PhD
Speaker affiliation: 
University of Washington Tacoma Nursing and Healthcare Leadership Program