|Title:||Global outreach and user preferences of a smartphone application developed for drinkers|
|Journal:||Technol Health Care|
|Alternate Journal:||Technology and health care : official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine|
|Keywords:||Alcohol Tracker application smartphone user perspectives|
|Abstract:||INTRODUCTION: Alcohol use disorders has been known and recently highlighted by the World Health Organization as a major worldwide problem. Harmful usage of alcohol has been linked to increased morbidity and mortality arising from common alcohol related disorders, such as liver disease, hypertension and violent deaths. Looking at the current literature, there have been previous peer reviewed publications about how technology has helped alcohol users. Of significance, a previous content analysis showed that the vast majority of the applications catered for alcohol use disorder which are currently available on the stores are not only not supported by evidence-base, but some of them seemed to be promoting drinking instead. Zhang et al. have described how they have attempted to overcome the limitations of current alcohol applications in their video feature recently published. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this article is to evaluate (a) the receptiveness of the general population toward an alcohol tracker application and to determine (b) user preferences with regards to the different features present in an alcohol tracker. METHODS: Android Java Developmental kit (ADK) was utilized to program the core functions of the applications. The entire developmental process took approximately 6 weeks to complete and the android version of the application was launched and offered for free download on the android play store since the 4th of February 2015. The utilization of the application was then monitored and recorded using Google analytics. User perspectives with regards to the individual features of the application were collated via an application feedback survey embedded within the application. RESULTS: Based on the analytics, a total of 339 users have had access to the application. A cumulative total of 2029 downloads of the application have been made to date. Most of the participants are male (66%) and are of the age group of 30-39 years old (34%). The vast majority of the participants (94%) do not have any prior treatment for alcohol. Interestingly, the vast majority of the users have indicated that they have a drink 4 or more times a week (61%) and tend to drink between 3 to 4 drinks on a typical day they are out drinking. the vast majority reported that they were slightly and moderately comfortable with managing their alcohol use problem (25%). After the usage of the application, 27% of the individuals were moderately comfortable with managing their alcohol use problems and 20% of individuals were extremely comfortable with managing their alcohol use problems. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this is perhaps one of the first few studies to demonstrate the receptiveness of an alcohol tracker that has included other behavioral change methods within as well as a variant of the conventional methodology of tracking alcohol consumption. The current study shows the receptiveness of global users as well as how such an intervention could help them gain more control about managing their underlying alcohol issue.|
|Notes:||1878-7401 Zhang, Melvyn W B Fang, Pan Ho, Roger C M Journal Article Netherlands Technol Health Care. 2016 Jul 27;24(4):495-501. doi: 10.3233/THC-161143.|
|Authors Address:||National Addiction Management Service, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. Shandong University, Shandong, Jinan, China. Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.|
|Appears in Collections:||2016|
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