In this post I want to share an overview of my PhD dissertation. When I finished my degree in Computer Science, I did a masters that included some content about researching. This masters was the first step to start working on a PhD. After several years writing articles and contributing to my PhD, I finally presented it during the academic year 2016/2017.

In September 2017 I defended my proposal to the experts. My dissertation was approved with Cum Laude honors!

A Knowledge Management Proposal of Usability Requirements on Mobile Health Applications

Thesis Goal

Mobile health (mHealth) applications have achieved a strong market share since the appearance of smartphones and tablets, which offer advanced communication and computing capabilities. These applications are being used to facilitate the communication between physicians and patients, and also to improve patients’ lives.

Two of the key issues for the adoption of mHealth are privacy and usability. My doctoral thesis presents an analysis of these two barriers and a practical proposal to evaluate and improve the usability of mobile health applications. Our early research focused on the security and privacy of mHealth applications. An analysis of the security and privacy of a total of 24 mobile Personal Health Records (mPHRs) applications is conducted. After this, we focused on the usability of mobile health applications. The main tasks, related to usability, accomplished for this project are: (1) guides compliance; (2) systematic review; (3) requirements catalog; and (4) validation. All the results and findings obtained from the first two tasks, guides compliance and systematic review, were aggregated and summarized to create a formal and reusable specification.

A Software Requirements Specification (SRS), whose aim is to specify the requirements needed to create a usable mobile health application, was created. The usability requirements catalog (USB-CAT) follows the guideline proposed by SIREN (SImple REuse of software requiremeNts) and is organized following the SRS structure of the ISO/IEC/IEEE 29148:2011 standard.

The last step is the validation of the proposed catalog by using an audit method, called USB-AM (USAbility Audit Method). There are three artefacts generated during the audit process: (1) USB-CAT*, which is the adaptation of the USB-CAT to the specific app where the audit method is to be applied; (2) a user-friendly checklist form obtained from USB-CAT*; and (3) audit report. S Health, application created by Samsung Electronics Co., is evaluated using the proposed audit method. In addition, the catalog is used for the evaluation of several applications for elder people, and for the development of a new application of the same type. Conclusions are obtained from these validations of the usability requirements catalog, along with the audit method.


To finish this post, I want to share here a link to the virtual library repository where you can find the full document.

Acknowledgments

Thesis acknowledgments
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