The addition of the Newsfeed feature in MyHeart Counts study is a great addition which directly addresses one of the most immediate challenges we all face- How do we keep people engaged?
One of the exciting proof points of ResearchKit is that it demonstrates the desire of patients to transcend their disease by contributing something meaningful towards changing our understanding of it, most notably through a willingness to share their data. But, every study has seen the excitement of the initial launch dip over the first few months as participant expectations about general smartphone use carry over to our research. For example, expectations of hyper-relevancy (personalization and immediacy of content) from other smartphone experiences (like Facebook) lead participants to quickly get bored with studies unless we find ways to regularly refresh both activities and information in order to increase the value of the app to the user. Our ultimate goal should be to find the right balance between a UX value proposition that keeps participants returning and the gathering of the data that drive the purpose of the research itself. In some ways, smartphone use in research necessitates the marriage of research with content delivery, edutainment and gamification.
So, in this respect, the addition of the newsfeed feature provides a solid step towards delivering timely and relevant content that establishes greater value for the participant. The information included is tailored to the research topic area of interest. The articles tend to be more action-oriented, helping to serve as a positive feedback loop to encourage healthy behavior for the heart. I would like to see it functionally evolve to allow users to bookmark, save or share articles of interest. It also might be interesting to explore combining a rating system on topics of from the newsfeed with the dashboard. The community of research participants could rate the topics by liking them. And, the top articles liked by the community at any given time could be shared on the dashboard as community feedback.
I like it! It gives me another reason to use the app. The articles seem to be well curated and are very helpful.
One issue: The "Tracking your health" doesn't have a working link to the main article.