Studying the Long-term Acceptance of Personal Health Informatics Tools

Evangelos Karapanos  Jodi Forlizzi  "We are currently witnessing a major shift in the role interactive technologies have in our lives: rather than being tools whose goal is merely to support the activities we perform, they become constant partners that influence our behaviors and transform the ways we live our lives. How to design such technologies is a major concern these days in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. For us, the interesting question is to how to create a human-technology bond that lasts for more than the rosy first encounters1 . This requires a shift in thinking from what can be done, to what should be done." Evangelos Karapanos and Jodi Forlizzi 
Portuguese PI
Evangelos Karapanos (M-ITI)
Jodi Forlizzi


Research teams: M-ITI; CMU
Funding Reference: FCT CMUP-EPB/TIC/0063/2013
Duration: 12 months 
Keywords: Personal informatics; wearable activity trackers; longitudinal studies, health

With chronic diseases accounting for nearly 40% of mortality cases and 75% of health care costs, policy makers are calling for a health care model that stresses patient-driven prevention. Wearable activity trackers have recently gained substantial interest as they can provide many benefits, ranging from increased awareness of one’s behaviors, to taking agency to manage one’s health and to even prevent hospital readmission. Yet, a recent survey has found that over a third of owners of activity trackers have discarded them within six months, and researchers have raised concerns over the plausible wear-off of any initial effects. This project will inquire into the long-term effects of wearable activity trackers on individuals’ physical activity and identify the factors that drive users' engagement with these tools. This knowledge will then be fed into the design of novel solutions.


1 Karapanos, E., Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J., & Martens, J. B. (2009). User experience over time: an initial framework. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 729-738). ACM.


The Phase II of the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Program emphasizes advanced education and research that can lead to significant entrepreneurial impact. The Early Bird Projects are designed to assist small teams of researchers from Portuguese institutions, Carnegie Mellon University and industry partners, to jumpstart high-impact potential activities of strategic relevance for the Program. 


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