Assessing the Usability of a Telemedicine-based Medication Delivery Unit for Older Adults through Inspection Methods

Seminar Date: 
2011-10-21
Seminar Time: 
11am - 12pm
Seminar Location: 
M-184 VALE, 200 Meyran Avenue
Presenter: 
Frank Ligons, BS
Presenter's Institution: 
Department of Biomedical Informatics

Abstract: Polypharmacy and medication non-adherence are common in older adults, potentially leading to medication-related problems and increased healthcare expenditures. Medication Delivery Units (MDUs) may improve adherence, but their interfaces may present usability challenges for older adults with age-related impairments. We used a combination of three inspection methods – heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough, and simulated elderly interaction, to identify potential concerns with the usability of a commercially available telemedicine MDU. Each method revealed different problems, with repeated discoveries via different methods providing triangulated evidence. Despite the MDU’s general usability, issues of varying severity were discovered. Significant usability issues associated with physical interactions with the MDU included loading and unloading the medication blister packs, and opening the delivered medication prior to administration. Less severe issues centered on small text sizes and poor user feedback. Further usability testing, involving older adults with a variety of impairments, is needed to validate findings.

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