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User Centric Develops Guidelines for Personal Health Record (PHR) Applications Based on User Research

CHICAGO, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Global user experience consulting firm User Centric, Inc., ( has identified several guidelines to be included in a working model for PHR interfaces that will facilitate user adoption. Based on a recent usability study comparing two existing online personal health record (PHR) applications, Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, User Centric gained a clearer understanding of features that are deemed useful in PHR applications. (Neither Google nor Microsoft commissioned or participated in this study in any manner.)

Based on a detailed analysis, User Centric developed recommendations for designing a more usable PHR, including:

  • Inclusion of multiple descriptions of the same health conditions/ items to accommodate users' differing levels of familiarity and comfort with medical terminology
  • Inclusion of basic drug interaction warnings, including interactions between common over-the-counter medications with prescription drugs
  • Using the user interface to support brand credibility, which was motivating factor for users who are choosing a PHR
  • More recommendations can be found at

As a follow-up to the PHR usability study, User Centric conducted an online survey to gather further data on patient attitudes towards PHRs. Among other things, this survey tracked features that would most drive respondents to adopt an online PHR. These included:

  • Tracking immunization records
  • Securely receiving test results and information from a physician
  • Sharing health information with a primary physician
  • Managing insurance information and medical bills
  • Receiving reminders about regular checkups or recurring treatments

For the complete complimentary study with illustrations, graphs, and recommendations, visit

About User Centric, Inc.

User Centric is a global consulting firm that focuses on improving user experience. Our services include user research, user interface design consulting, information architecture, usability testing, user interface evaluations, eye tracking, and online surveys. Learn more about us at

User Centric is a partner of the UXalliance ( The UXalliance is the international network for user experience. Founded in 2005 by the leading usability companies in Europe, North America, and Asia, they are ideally placed to lead international user experience research. The UXalliance combines the resources of 14 companies, 220 user research professionals worldwide, and over 40 testing facilities.

    Pamela Stoffregen-Gay

SOURCE User Centric
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