A growing body of research has focused on the utility of adaptive intervention models for promoting long-term weight loss maintenance; however, evaluation of these interventions often requires customized smartphone applications. Building such an app from scratch can be resource intensive. To support a novel clinical trial of an adaptive intervention for weight loss maintenance, we developed a companion app, MyTrack+, to pair with a main commercial app, FatSecret (FS), leveraging a user-centered design process for rapid prototyping and reducing software engineering efforts. MyTrack+ seamlessly integrates data from FS and the BodyTrace smart scale, enabling participants to log and self-monitor their health data, while also incorporating customized questionnaires and timestamps to enhance data collection for the trial. We iteratively refined the app by first developing initial mockups and incorporating feedback from a usability study with 17 university students. We further improved the app based on an in-the-wild pilot study with 33 participants in the target population, emphasizing acceptance, simplicity, customization options, and dual app usage. Our work highlights the potential of using an iterative human-centered design process to build a companion app that complements a commercial app for rapid prototyping, reducing costs, and enabling efficient research progress.
  • Headshot of Jaime Ruiz wearing a HololensJaime Ruiz
  • Julia Woodward
  • As well as: Yu-Peng Chen, Meena N Shankar, Dinank Bista, Umelo Ugwoaba, Andrea Brockmann, Kathryn M Ross and Lisa Anthony

Yu-Peng Chen, Julia Woodward, Meena N Shankar, Dinank Bista, Umelo Ugwoaba, Andrea Brockmann, Kathryn M Ross, Jaime Ruiz, and Lisa Anthony. MyTrack+: Human-Centered Design of an mHealth App to Support Long-Term Weight Loss Maintenance. Frontiers in Digital Health 6: 1334058. https://doi.org/10.3389/fdgth.2024.1334058