8th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare

Research Article

Patient-Centered Tools for Medication Information Search

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/icst.pervasivehealth.2014.254975,
        author={Lauren Wilcox and Steven Feiner and Noemie Elhadad and David Vawdrey and Tran Tran},
        title={Patient-Centered Tools for Medication Information Search},
        proceedings={8th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare},
        keywords={www health information seeking user interface design},
  • Lauren Wilcox
    Steven Feiner
    Noemie Elhadad
    David Vawdrey
    Tran Tran
    Year: 2014
    Patient-Centered Tools for Medication Information Search
    DOI: 10.4108/icst.pervasivehealth.2014.254975
Lauren Wilcox1,*, Steven Feiner2, Noemie Elhadad2, David Vawdrey2, Tran Tran3
  • 1: Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2: Columbia University
  • 3: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
*Contact email: lgw23@columbia.edu


Recent research focused on online health information seeking highlights a heavy reliance on general purpose search engines. However, current general-purpose search interfaces do not necessarily provide adequate support for non-experts in identifying suitable sources of health information. Popular search engines have recently introduced search tools in their user interfaces for a range of topics. In this work, we explore how such tools can support non-expert, patient-centered health information search. Scoping the current work to medication-related search, we report on findings from a formative study focused on the design of patient-centered, medication-information search tools. Our study included qualitative interviews with patients, family members, and domain experts, as well as observations of their use of Remedy, a technology probe embodying a set of search tools. Post-operative cardiothoracic surgery patients and their visiting family members used the tools to find information about their hospital medications and were interviewed before and after their use. Domain experts conducted similar search tasks and provided qualitative feedback on their preferences and recommendations for designing these tools. Findings from our study suggest the importance of four valuation principles underlying our tools: credibility, readability, consumer perspective, and topical relevance.