Design and Usability of an E-Health Mobile Application

Maria Rita Nogueira, Paulo Menezes, Sérgio Carvalho, Bruno Patrão, Inês A. Trindade, Raquel Guiomar, Joana Duarte, Teresa Lapa, José Pinto-Gouveia, Paula Freitas Castilho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review


Health applications have increasingly been used to improve physical, mental and social well-being. Chronic pain (CP) is defined as pain that lasts for a period of three months and causes sporadic or constant discomfort. In Portugal, the treatments for this type of pain are almost exclusively pharmacological and with known limited effects. Endowing patients with self-management skills, will help them cope with pain in a more effective way. Psychological treatments (e.g. mindfulness-based interventions) may play a relevant role here, because they intervene on a cognitive, emotional and behavioural level, which in turn helps the chronic pain patient to deal with pain-related disorders and suffering. The current availability of connected and powerful smartphones and tablets creates an opportunity to propose alternative pain management solutions that may be used immediately when pain appears, which has been the argument that favoured the pharmacological solutions. For this we propose a mobile application that guides patients on the mindfulness practice and to self-manage the sensed pain. Learning to gradually adequate pain management may have several advantages such as: reduced the number of consultation visits and consequent waiting lists; increased cost-effectiveness; self-management of chronic pain at the patient’s pace and according to their needs; extend access to the treatment to patients that reside in low density regions. Being an alternative to traditional treatment, the proposed treatment will be under the guidance of qualified health professionals that will supervise treatment sessions and perform the required assessments. By promoting patients’ self-management, the control and monitoring of the chronic pain condition is expected to improve greatly, which in turn may prevent the aggravation of the clinical condition. This research and the mobile application are being developed in a collaboration between the Centre for Research in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Behavioral Intervention of the University of Coimbra and the Institute of Systems and Robotics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign, User Experience, and Usability. Case Studies in Public and Personal Interactive Systems - 9th International Conference, DUXU 2020, Held as Part of the 22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, Proceedings
EditorsAaron Marcus, Elizabeth Rosenzweig
PublisherSpringer Gabler
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783030497569
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Conference on Design, User Experience, and Usability, DUXU 2020, held as part of the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2020 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 2020 Jul 192020 Jul 24

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume12202 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference9th International Conference on Design, User Experience, and Usability, DUXU 2020, held as part of the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, HCII 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Free keywords

  • Chronic pain management
  • Design
  • E-health
  • Mobile application
  • Usability
  • User experience


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