A Participatory Design Approach to Develop Visualization of Wearable Actigraphy Data for Health Care Professionals: Case Study in Qatar
Apr 8, 2022
Background: Several tools have been developed for health care professionals to monitor the physical activity of their patients, but most of these tools have been considering only the needs of users in North American and European countries and applicable for only specific analytic tasks. To our knowledge, no research study has utilized the participatory design (PD) approach in the Middle East region to develop such tools, involving all the stakeholders in the product development phases, and no clear use cases have been derived from such studies that could serve future development in the field. Objective: This study aims to develop an interactive visualization tool (ActiVis) to support local health care professionals in monitoring the physical activity of their patients measured through wearable sensors, with the overall objective of improving the health of the Qatari population. Methods: We used PD and user-centered design methodologies to develop ActiVis, including persona development, brainwriting, and heuristic walkthrough as part of user evaluation workshops; and use cases, heuristic walkthrough, interface walkthrough, and survey as part of expert evaluation sessions. Results: We derived and validated 6 data analysis use cases targeted at specific health care professionals from a collaborative design workshop and an expert user study. These use cases led to improving the design of the ActiVis tool to support the monitoring of patients’ physical activity by nurses and family doctors. The ActiVis research prototype (RP) compared favorably with the Fitbit Dashboard, showing the importance of design tools specific to end users’ needs rather than relying on repurposing existing tools designed for other types of users. The use cases we derived happen to be culturally agnostic, despite our assumption that the local Muslim and Arabic culture could impact the design of such visualization tools. At last, taking a step back, we reflect on running collaborative design sessions in a multicultural environment and oil-based economy. Conclusions: Beyond the development of the ActiVis tool, this study can serve other visualization and human–computer interaction designers in the region to prepare their design projects and encourage health care professionals to engage with designers and engineers to improve the tools they use for supporting their daily routine. The development of the ActiVis tool for nurses, and other visualization tools specific to family doctors and clinician researchers, is still ongoing and we plan to integrate them into an operational platform for health care professionals in Qatar in the near future.