Design and Implementation of Behavioral Informatics Interventions

Chapter by Liliana Laranjo, Annie Lau and Enrico Coiera in Cognitive Informatics in Health and Biomedicine: “The growing burden of chronic disease is drawing unprecedented attention to the importance of optimizing lifestyle behaviors. Interventions to promote behavior change seem promising, but their full potential can be missed when they are not easily disseminated or accessible to a larger audience. The ability of technology to address these issues, as well as to facilitate the tailoring of interventions, has led to the growing popularity of the field of behavioral informatics (BI).

Behavioral informatics interventions are designed to support patients and healthy consumers in modifying behaviors to improve health, with the help of computers, the Internet, mobile phones, wireless devices, or social media, among other technologies. To date, BI interventions have been applied in several health domains, from the promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to mental health and chronic disease self-management.

The effectiveness and impact of BI interventions are largely dependent on their meaningful design, development, evaluation, and implementation. Key elements for success include: performing a comprehensive observation and framing of the particular behavioral challenge within context; recognizing the relevant behavior change theories, models and techniques; having a deep understanding of user characteristics and needs; involving users throughout design and development; and refining the design through user-centred evaluation.

Due to the rapid pace of technology development, the evaluation of interventions and translation of research to practice are met with particular challenges. Innovative methodologies and implementation strategies are increasingly required to bring to fruition the potential of BI interventions in delivering cost-effective, personalized interventions, with broad scalability….(More)”.