JMIR Human Factors

(Re-)designing health care and making health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective.

Editor-in-Chief:

Andre Kushniruk, BA, MSc, PhD, FACMI, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria, Canada


Impact Factor 2.7

JMIR Human Factors (JHF, ISSN 2292-9495) is a multidisciplinary journal with contributions from design experts, medical researchers, engineers, and social scientists.

In 2023, JMIR Human Factors received an inaugural Journal Impact Factor™ of 2.7 (Source: Journal Citation Reports™ from Clarivate, 2023).

JMIR Human Factors focuses on understanding how the behaviour and thinking of humans can influence and shape the design of health care interventions and technologies, and how the design can be evaluated and improved to make health care interventions and technologies usable, safe, and effective. This includes usability studies and heuristic evaluations, studies concerning ergonomics and error prevention, design studies for medical devices and healthcare systems/workflows, enhancing teamwork through Human Factors based teamwork training, measuring non-technical skills in staff like leadership, communication, situational awareness and teamwork, and healthcare policies and procedures to reduce errors and increase safety.

JHF aspires to lead health care towards a culture of "usability by design", as well as to a culture of testing, error-prevention and safety, by promoting and publishing reports rigorously evaluating the usability and human factors aspects in health care, as well as encouraging the development and debate on new methods in this emerging field. Possible contributions include usability studies and heuristic evaluations, studies concerning ergonomics and error prevention, design studies for medical devices and healthcare systems/workflows, enhancing teamwork through human factors-based teamwork training, measuring non-technical skills in staff like leadership, communication, situational awareness and teamwork, and healthcare policies and procedures to reduce errors and increase safety. Reviews, viewpoint papers and tutorials are as welcome as original research.

All articles are professionally copyedited and typeset.

JMIR Human Factors is indexed in National Library of Medicine (NLM)/MEDLINE, PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, Scopus, Sherpa Romeo, PsychINFO, and the Web of Science (WoS)/ESCI/SCIE.

Recent Articles

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Design and Usability of Medical Devices

In pandemic situations, digital contact tracing (DCT) can be an effective way to assess one’s risk of infection and inform others in case of infection. DCT apps can support the information gathering and analysis processes of users aiming to trace contacts. However, users’ use intention and use of DCT information may depend on the perceived benefits of contact tracing. While existing research has examined acceptance in DCT, automation-related user experience factors have been overlooked.

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Tools and Questionnaires in Human Factors Evaluation

Physicians and patient-facing caregivers have increasingly used mobile health (mHealth) technologies in the past several years, accelerating during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, barriers and feedback surrounding adoption remain relatively understudied and varied across health systems, particularly in rural areas.

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User-centred Design Case Studies

Digitally assisted health care services and technologies are gaining popularity. They assist patients in managing their conditions, thereby reducing the burden on health care staff. Digital health care enables individuals to receive care that is more tailored to their needs and preferences. When implemented properly, it can promote equity by considering each person’s opportunities and limitations in the context of health care needs, preferences, values, and capabilities.

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Design and Usability of Medical Devices

Strokes pose a substantial health burden, impacting 1 in 6 people globally. One-tenth of patients will endure a second, often more severe, stroke within a year. Alarmingly, a younger demographic is being affected due to recent lifestyle changes. As fine motor and cognitive issues arise, patient disability as well as the strain on caregivers and health care resources is exacerbated. Contemporary occupational therapy assesses manual dexterity and cognitive functions through object manipulation and pen-and-paper recordings. However, these assessments are typically isolated, which makes it challenging for therapists to comprehensively evaluate specific patient conditions. Furthermore, the reliance on one-on-one training and assessment approaches on manual documentation is inefficient and prone to transcription errors.

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Design and Usability of Consumer Health Tech and Home Monitoring Devices

Young adults in the United States exhibit some of the highest rates of substance use compared to other age groups. Heavy and frequent substance use can be associated with a host of acute and chronic health and mental health concerns. Recent advances in ubiquitous technologies have prompted interest and innovation in using technology-based data collection instruments to understand substance use and associated harms. Existing methods for collecting granular, real-world data primarily rely on the use of smartphones to study and understand substance use in young adults. Wearable devices, such as smartwatches, show significant potential as platforms for data collection in this domain but remain underused.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research for Human Factors Research

The high number of unnecessary alarms in intensive care settings leads to alarm fatigue among staff and threatens patient safety. To develop and implement effective and sustainable solutions for alarm management in intensive care units (ICUs), an understanding of staff interactions with the patient monitoring system and alarm management practices is essential.

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Focus Groups and Qualitative Research for Human Factors Research

Chatbots are increasingly being applied in the context of health care, providing access to services when there are constraints on human resources. Simple, rule-based chatbots are suited to high-volume, repetitive tasks and can therefore be used effectively in providing users with important health information. In this Viewpoint paper, we report on the implementation of a chatbot service called Ask Anxia as part of a wider provision of information and support services offered by the UK national charity, Anxiety UK. We reflect on the changes made to the chatbot over the course of approximately 18 months as the Anxiety UK team monitored its performance and responded to recurrent themes in user queries by developing further information and services. We demonstrate how corpus linguistics can contribute to the evaluation of user queries and the optimization of responses. On the basis of these observations of how Anxiety UK has developed its own chatbot service, we offer recommendations for organizations looking to add automated conversational interfaces to their services.

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Design and Usability of Websites for Special User Groups

Multiple studies have examined the impact of deferral on the motivation of prospective blood donors, proposing various policies and strategies to support individuals who undergo this experience. However, existing information and communications technology systems focused on blood donation have not yet integrated these ideas or provided options to assist with the deferral experience.

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Usability Evaluation Case Studies

Cognitive functional ability affects the accessibility of IT and is thus something that should be controlled for in user experience (UX) research. However, many cognitive function assessment batteries are long and complex, making them impractical for use in conventional experimental time frames. Therefore, there is a need for a short and reliable cognitive assessment that has discriminant validity for cognitive functions needed for general IT tasks. One potential candidate is the Trail Making Test (TMT).

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User-centred Design Case Studies

The clinical management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) presents a significant challenge due to the constantly evolving clinical practice guidelines and growing array of drug classes available. Evidence suggests that artificial intelligence (AI)–enabled clinical decision support systems (CDSSs) have proven to be effective in assisting clinicians with informed decision-making. Despite the merits of AI-driven CDSSs, a significant research gap exists concerning the early-stage implementation and adoption of AI-enabled CDSSs in T2DM management.

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Theories, Models, and Frameworks in Human Factors

Overdose Fatality Review (OFR) is an important public health tool for shaping overdose prevention strategies in communities. However, OFR teams review only a few cases at a time, which typically represent a small fraction of the total fatalities in their jurisdiction. Such limited review could result in a partial understanding of local overdose patterns, leading to policy recommendations that do not fully address the broader community needs.

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Design and Evaluation of Patient Education Materials

Increased pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use is urgently needed to substantially decrease HIV incidence among Black sexual minority men. Low perceived risk for HIV (PRH) is a key unaddressed PrEP barrier for Black sexual minority men. Peers and smartphone apps are popular intervention tools to promote community health behaviors, but few studies have used these together in a multicomponent strategy. Therefore, we designed a multicomponent intervention called POSSIBLE that used an existing smartphone app called PrEPme (Emocha Mobile Health, Inc) and a peer change agent (PCA) to increase PRH as a gateway to PrEP.

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

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