University of Washington: Some of The Most Popular Mobile Healthcare Apps Are Not Easy For Blind Smartphone Users to Access

University of Washington Some of The Most Popular Mobile Healthcare Apps Are Not Easy For Blind Smartphone Users to AccessIn March of 2014, a group of researchers at the University of Washington evaluated 9 of the most popular mobile health apps to see if they were compatible with programs such as iPhone’s VoiceOver. They found that all 9 apps were not, meaning that blind users cannot currently benefit from such apps.

iPhone’s VoiceOver program, and similar programs for other smartphones, are designed to allow blind users access to their smartphone or notebook—most often by “reading” the screen features from left to right.

While it is fairly simple for programmers to develop their applications within compliance of such programs, for many these tools simply aren’t on their radar, Medical Press reports.

The full findings of this research was paper published in the 2015 issue of the Journal on Technology & Persons with Disabilities. Some of the most common tracking and monitoring the apps they reviewed monitored health factors such as blood pressure, blood sugar, diet, sleep, and exercise.

“We wanted to see if these health applications would be out-of-the-box accessible, and most really weren’t,” said lead author Lauren Milne, a UW computer science and engineering doctoral student. “They made a lot of amateur mistakes that people make when they build apps.”

To learn more about the research and its findings, check out Medical Press.

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