• 1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kota Bharu, Malaysia
  • 2 Unit Biostatistics and Research Methodology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kota Bharu, Malaysia
  • 3 Clinical Research Centre, Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Malaysia
  • 4 Non-Communicable Disease Unit, Kedah State Health Department, Alor Setar, Malaysia
JMIR Hum Factors, 2019 Apr 16;6(2):e12103.
PMID: 30990454 DOI: 10.2196/12103


BACKGROUND: Participation in colorectal cancer screening is still low among Malaysians despite the increasing trend of incidence, with more than half of the new cases being detected in the advanced stages. Knowledge improvement might increase screening participation and thus improve the chances of disease detection. With the advancement of communication technology, people nowadays prefer to read from their mobile phone using a Web browser or mobile apps compared with the traditional printed material. Therefore, health education and promotion should adapt this behavior change in educating the community.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to document the process of designing and developing a mobile app for community education on colorectal cancer and assess the usability of the prototype.

METHODS: The nominal group technique (NGT) was used for the content development of the mobile app. NGT involving community educationists and clinicians combined with community representatives as the target users identified relevant health information and communication strategies including features for a user-friendly mobile app. The prototype was developed using framework Ionic 1, based on the Apache Cordova and Angular JS (Google). It was published in the Google Play store. In total, 50 mobile phone users aged 50 years and above and who had never been diagnosed with any type of cancer were invited to download and use the app. They were asked to assess the usability of the app using the validated Malay version of System Usability Scale Questionnaire for the Assessment of Mobile Apps questionnaire. The One-sample t test was used to assess the usability score with a cut-off value of 68 for the usable mobile app.

RESULTS: The Colorectal Cancer Awareness Application (ColorApp) was successfully developed in the local Malay language. The NGT discussion had suggested 6 main menus in the ColorApp prototype, which are Introduction, Sign and Symptoms, Risk Factors, Preventive Measures, Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, and immunochemical fecal occult blood test kit. A total of 2 additional artificial intelligence properties menus were added to allow user-ColorApp interaction: Analyze Your Status and ColorApp Calculator. The prototype has been published in the Google Play store. The mean usability score was 72 (SD 11.52), which indicates that ColorApp is a usable mobile app, and it can be used as a tool for community education on colorectal cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: ColorApp mobile app can be used as a user-friendly tool for community education on colorectal cancer.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.