The level of participation during the development of a mobile application for home-based healthcare data in a developing context: An actor-network theory perspective

27 Jun 2017

The context of this study is home-based healthcare in a South African resource-restricted community. The research case involved the design and development of a mobile care data application, created to assist community caregivers in their professional activities. However, the development principles of a suitable mobile application for feature phones (limited functionality) in this context are not fully established. A participatory design approach was employed using a design science research in information systems strategy. Data was collected during the co-design sessions with the active participation of the caregivers to design and develop a suitable mobile application to capture process and report care data. The activities of the caregivers in practice and the design and development activities were observed. It was observed, conversely, that the level of participation of all stakeholders differed significantly during the process. It was especially observed that the designer and end-users were less involved in the actual development of the prototype. These differences may have an influence on the end product/result. Actor-network theory (ANT) was used to offer a new perspective on the development processes, concepts and structures.