By Nikolai Kirienko, UC Berkeley, Crohnology.MD Project Director
According to Prof. Fogg, "We don't adopt our smartphones; we marry them." So, what does that say about the apps we use? If a health-care app doesn't want to be a casual fling, at least in my experience, it has to live up to a similar standard of domestic co-habitation: we have to want to live together. And that means seeing (and trusting) each other almost every day, and enjoying it. Suffice to say, I'm still looking for (and now trying to build) that ideal app.
As a result, in defining the core ODL's for Crohnology.MD, our team has encountered some interesting questions regarding the role of persuasion. When viewing our initial list of observations through the lens of a 'patient narrative', (the story you share about your illness) it became apparent that the names of the ODL's themselves may in fact have an unintended persuasive effect. For example, the name for a widely used observation measuring energy captures a 'Tiredness & Fatigue’ score on a scale of one through ten. I wondered what might happen to the scores (and perhaps the stories) if we framed the exact same question around ratings of 'Energy & Strength'?
While these may seem like subtle details at first glance the persuasive tone they set shouldn't be underestimated. For those living with chronic illness our attitude and focus are often among the most powerful healing forces still under our control. In my estimation, the personal health apps that 'get' (and nurture) that relationship will in all likelihood be the ones that patients and doctors truly enjoy interacting with the most. And those are the apps we'll keep sharing our personal and professional lives with, in sickness and in health.
What do you think? When it comes to frequent observations, how important is a name?