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Mobile Information Systems
Volume 2017, Article ID 9302328, 12 pages
Research Article

Helping Elderly Users Report Pain Levels: A Study of User Experience with Mobile and Wearable Interfaces

1Department of Computer Science, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
2School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
3Medicine School, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Correspondence should be addressed to Valeria Herskovic;

Received 28 July 2017; Accepted 4 October 2017; Published 6 November 2017

Academic Editor: Pino Caballero-Gil

Copyright © 2017 Iyubanit Rodríguez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pain is usually measured through patient reports during doctor visits, but it requires regular evaluation under real-life conditions to be resolved effectively. Over half of older adults suffer from pain. Chronic conditions such as this one may be monitored through technology; however, elderly users require technology to be specifically designed for them, because many have cognitive and physical limitations and lack digital skills. The purpose of this article is to study whether mobile or wearable devices are appropriate to self-report pain levels and to find which body position is more appropriate for elderly people to wear a device to self-report pain. We implemented three prototypes and conducted two phases of evaluation. We found that users preferred the wearable device over the mobile application and that a wearable to self-report pain should be designed specifically for this purpose. Regarding the placement of the wearable, we found that there was no preferred position overall, although the neck position received the most positive feedback. We believe that the possibility of creating a wearable device that may be placed in different positions may be the best solution to satisfy users’ individual preferences.