Literature Review on interactive digital health interventions


Developing interactive digital health interventions use interdisciplinary knowledge to identify consumer needs and in being able to evaluate each intervention. This literature review focuses on lessons for research on interactive digital health interventions. It reviews a journal article on this topic (Blandford, Gibbs, Newhouse, Perski, Singh, & Murray, 2018).

The research confirmed that there is a need for expertise from all the key fields in developing interactive digital health interventions.  The authors acknowledged the differences in the various areas of expertise needed: health and human-computer interaction. They focused on the key communication points to make the differences understandable whenever experienced during such developments.

The authors concluded that it is necessary to identify what is already known before their research for the digital health intervention from the human-computer interaction field. They should, however, gather evidence to ascertain the validity of the known information. For the DHIs from the health fields, they should review research that was done earlier to identify the already known information. They should, however, pay attention to the time the original search was done to ensure that they have updated information.

They appreciated that digital health interventions require experts from health and human-computer interactions to understand the development lifecycles of such interventions. After considering the need for a new design of such interventions, human-computer intervention experts should link the design to the context of the need. On the other hand, health experts should base their developments on well-recognized and articulated theories.

The human-computer interaction developers ought to consider the end-user of a specific DHI. The intervention must consider the end-user’s emotions, physical, social, cognitive, individual situation, and experience. The health developers of DHIs should also consider what the end-users believe and the available evidence on what they suggest. This is to avoid contradicting the users without a clear explanation. 

The human-computer interaction experts should ensure that they develop interactive software that can deliver the intended purpose. The developments should also be safe from unauthorized person’s access. The health DHI experts should focus on incorporating broad healthcare delivery systems if the HCI is aimed at a long-term purpose as it makes it easy for the users.

Before arriving at the final context of using any DHI, the HCI experts ought to conduct several tests to ascertain three things: effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction. On the other hand, health DHI experts should conduct clinical randomized control trials to ensure cost-effectiveness and measure different aspects of the DHIs. Both the HCI and health experts should ensure that the DHIs are developed to conform to the ethics of both health and HCI.


Finally, the authors believe that there are DHI researchers across the world that will learn from such highlighted lessons. Therefore, this paper facilitates them and other groups who seek to work across professional disciplines to develop DHIs. It also serves to better the outputs of future research on DHIs.


Blandford, A., Gibbs, J., Newhouse, N., Perski, O., Singh, A., & Murray, E. (2018). Seven lessons for interdisciplinary research on interactive digital health interventions. Digital Health Volume 4, 1–13.