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Institute for Healthcare Advancement will Honor Four for Excellence in Health Literacy at National Conference
Date:5/5/2013

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“Picture This”—mobile technology to help improve health literacy and outcomes
Dr. Christine Kennedy, Professor and Koehn Endowed Chair in Children’s Health
Awardee: University of California, San Francisco

The adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single image. Dr. Christine Kennedy, Professor and Koehn Endowed Chair in Children’s Health at University of California, San Francisco, investigates that idea further in her research study called, “Picture This.” “Our research investigates the possibility of leveraging mobile health (mHealth) technology to further health literacy research and practice to bridge ethnic and racial health disparities,” states Kennedy. In a world driven by technological innovation and the inherent market tendency to design for the wealthy, as opposed to diverse populations with low health literacy, “Picture This” aims to create new opportunities for mHealth technology and health literacy professionals/practitioners through the complexity of mobile health informatics by testing a new mode of visual communication for health. “Picture This” is a three phase research study in which a mobile phone application (mHealth app) is being developed and used to help health care providers promote more physical activity and less sedentary behavior among patients. In the first design phase “Picture This” recruited urban Mexican American adults, a group at risk for sedentary behavior. The research team conducted six focus groups with 42 Spanish-speaking, Latinos of Mexican descent (consumers), two focus groups within the Spanish-speaking promotoras and six in-depth interviews with nurse practitioners. Groups explored the feasibility and acceptability of a potential mHealth application using visual communication, testing multiple visual design elements including non-textual representations (e.g. icons, pictograms, animation, and videos). Results indicat
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