Applying Human-Centered Design Principles to Digital Syndromic Surveillance at a Mass Gathering in India: Viewpoint


Ahmed Shaikh Ghanshyam Yadav Shashwat Hora Chung Won Mark Shankar Aaron Heerboth Prakash Vemulapalli Paresh Navalkar Kunal Oswal Clay Heaton Sujata Saunik Tarun Khanna Satchit Balsari


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital health tools have been deployed by governments around the world to advance clinical and population health objectives. Few interventions have been successful or have achieved sustainability or scale. In India, government agencies are proposing sweeping changes to India’s digital health architecture. Underpinning these initiatives is the assumption that mobile health solutions will find near universal acceptance and uptake, though the observed reticence of clinicians to use electronic health records suggests otherwise. In this practice article, we describe our experience with implementing a digital surveillance tool at a large mass gathering, attended by nearly 30 million people. Deployed with limited resources and in a dynamic chaotic setting, the adherence to human-centered design principles resulted in near universal adoption and high end-user satisfaction. Through this use case, we share generalizable lessons in the importance of contextual relevance, stakeholder participation, customizability, and rapid iteration, while designing digital health tools for individuals or populations.

Journal of Medical Internet Research