Design and usability evaluation of mobile voice-added food reporting for elderly people: Randomized controlled trial

Ying Chieh Liu, Chien Hung Chen, Yu Sheng Lin, Hsin Yun Chen, Denisa Irianti, Ting Ni Jen, Jou Yin Yeh, Sherry Yueh Hsia Chiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Advances in voice technology have raised new possibilities for apps related to daily health maintenance. However, the usability of such technologies for older users remains unclear and requires further investigation. Objective: We designed and evaluated two innovative mobile voice-added apps for food intake reporting, namely voice-only reporting (VOR) and voice-button reporting (VBR). Each app features a unique interactive procedure for reporting food intake. With VOR, users verbally report the main contents of each dish, while VBR provides both voice and existing touch screen inputs for food intake reporting. The relative usability of the two apps was assessed through the metrics of accuracy, efficiency, and user perception. Methods: The two mobile apps were compared in a head-to-head parallel randomized trial evaluation. A group of 57 adults aged 60-90 years (12 male and 45 female participants) was recruited from a retirement community and randomized into two experimental groups, that is, VOR (n=30) and VBR (n=27) groups. Both groups were tested using the same set of 17 food items including dishes and beverages selected and allocated to present distinct breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. All participants used a 7-inch tablet computer for the test. The resulting data were analyzed to evaluate reporting accuracy and time efficiency, and the system usability scale (SUS) was used to measure user perception. Results: For eight error types identified in the experiment, the VBR group participants were significantly (P<.001) more error prone owing to the required use of button-tapping actions. The highest error rates in the VOR group were related to incomprehensible reporting speech (28/420, 6.7%), while the highest error rates in the VBR group were related to failure to make required button taps (39/378, 10.3%). The VOR group required significantly (P<.001) less time to complete food reporting. The overall subjective reactions of the two groups based on the SUS surpassed the benchmark and were not significantly different (P=.20). Conclusions: Experimental results showed that VOR outperformed VBR, suggesting that voice-only food input reporting is preferable for elderly users. Voice-added apps offer a potential mechanism for the self-management of dietary intake by elderly users. Our study contributes an evidence-based evaluation of prototype design and selection under a user-centered design model. The results provide a useful reference for selecting optimal user interaction design.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20317
JournalJMIR mHealth and uHealth
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 09 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Ying-Chieh Liu, Chien-Hung Chen, Yu-Sheng Lin, Hsin-Yun Chen, Denisa Irianti, Ting-Ni Jen, Jou-Yin Yeh, Sherry Yueh-Hsia Chiu. Originally published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth (http://mhealth.jmir.org), 28.09.2020. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mHealth and uHealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://mhealth.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

Keywords

  • Automatic speech recognition
  • Elderly
  • Food report
  • MHealth
  • Randomized trial
  • Usability evaluation
  • Voice-added design

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