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Digitisation of patient preferences in palliative care: mobile app prototype
  1. João Ferreira1,
  2. Marta Ferreira1,2,
  3. Carla Sílvia Fernandes3,4,5,
  4. João Castro6 and
  5. Maria Joana Campos3,7
  1. 1 Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Porto Faculty of Engineering, Porto, Portugal
  2. 2 INESC TEC - Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology and Science, Porto, Portugal
  3. 3 Nurse Department, Porto Higher School of Nursing, Porto, Portugal
  4. 4 CINTESIS@RISE-Research Center for Health Technologies and Services, Porto, Portugal
  5. 5 ADITGameS_ Association for the development of Technological Innovation and Games in Health, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
  6. 6 Nurse, Wecare Saude-Continuous Integrated and Palliative Care Unit, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
  7. 7 CIDESI-Center for Research and Development in Nursing Information Systems, Porto, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Prof Carla Sílvia Fernandes, Porto Higher School of Nursing, Porto, 4200-072, Portugal; carlasilviaf{at}


Background Engaging in advance care planning can be emotionally challenging, but gamification and technology are suggested as a potential solution.

Objective Present the development stages of a mobile app prototype to improve quality of life for patients in palliative care.

Design The study started with a comprehensive literature review to establish a foundation. Subsequently, interviews were conducted to validate the proposed features of the mobile application. Following the development phase, usability tests were conducted to evaluate the overall usability of the mobile application. Furthermore, an oral questionnaire was administered to understand user satisfaction about the implemented features.

Results A three-phase testing approach was employed based on the chosen user-centred design methodology to obtain the results. Three iterations were conducted, with improvements being made based on feedback and tested in subsequent phases. Despite the added complexity arising from the health status of patients in palliative care, the usability tests and implemented features received positive feedback from both patients and healthcare providers.

Conclusion The research findings have demonstrated the potential of digitisation in enhancing the quality of life for patients in palliative care. This was achieved through the implementation of patient-centred design, personalised care, the inclusion of social chatrooms and facilitating end-of-life discussions.

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  • Contributors Conceptualisation: JF, MF, CSF, JC and MJC; methodology JF, MF, CSF and MJC; formal analysis, JF and CSF; investigation: JF, MF, CSF and MJC; writing—JF and CSF; review and editing: MF and MJC. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.