Special Issue

Usability on the p-medicine infrastructure: an extended usability concept

11 Feb 2014
Marie-Luise Christ-Neumann, Ana Escrich, Alberto Anguita, Holger Stenzhorn, Marian Taylor, Hena Ramay, Stefan Rüping, Christian Krauth, Wolfgang Kuchinke, Norbert Graf, Simona Rossi

Usability testing methods are nowadays integrated into the design and development of healthcare software, and the need for usability in healthcare information technology (IT) is widely accepted by clinicians and researchers. Usability assessment starts with the identification of specific objectives that need to be tested and continues with the definition of evaluation criteria and monitoring procedures before usability tests are performed to assess the quality of all services and tasks. Such a process is implemented in the p-medicine environment and gives feedback iteratively to all software developers in the project. GCP (good clinical practice) criteria require additional usability testing of the software. For the p-medicine project (, an extended usability concept (EUC) was developed. The EUC covers topics like ease of use, likeability, and usefulness, usability in trial centres characterised by a mixed care and research environment and by extreme time constraints, confidentiality, use of source documents, standard operating procedures (SOA), and quality control during data handling to ensure that all data are reliable and have been processed correctly in terms of accuracy, completeness, legibility, consistence, and timeliness. Here, we describe the p-medicine EUC, focusing on two of the many key tools: ObTiMA and the Ontology Annotator (OA).

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