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Personalization_in_Real-Time_Physical_Activity_Coaching_Using_Mobile_Applications_A_Scoping_Review.pdf (8.7 MB)

Personalization in Real-Time Physical Activity Coaching Using Mobile Applications: A Scoping Review

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submitted on 2023-08-23, 06:29 and posted on 2023-09-21, 06:25 authored by Francisco Monteiro-Guerra, Octavio Rivera-Romero, Luis Fernandez-Luque, Brian Caulfield

Mobile monitoring for health and wellness is becoming more sophisticated and accurate, with an increased use of real-time personalization technologies that may improve the effectiveness of physical activity coaching systems. This study aimed to review real-time physical activity coaching applications that make use of personalization mechanisms. A scoping review, using the PRISMA-ScR checklist, was conducted on the literature published from July 2007 to July 2018. A data extraction tool was developed to analyze the systems on general characteristics, personalization, design foundations (behavior change and gamification) and evaluation methods. 28 papers describing 17 different mobile applications were included. The most used personalization concepts were Feedback (17/17), Goal Setting (15/17), User Targeting (9/17) and Inter-human Interaction (8/17), while the less commonly covered were Self-Learning (4/17), Context Awareness (3/17) and Adaptation (2/17). Few systems considered behavior change theories for design (6/17). A total of 42 instances of gamification-related elements were found across 15 systems, but only 6 explicitly mention its use. Most systems (15/17) were submitted to some type of evaluation. However, few assessed the effects of particular strategies or overall system effectiveness using randomized experimental designs (5/17). Although personalization is thought to improve user adherence in physical activity coaching applications, it is still far from reaching its full potential. We believe that future work should consider the theory and suggestions reported in prior work; leverage the needs of the target users for personalization; include behavior change foundations and explore gamification theory; and properly evaluate these systems.

Other Information

Published in: IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English



Publication Year

  • 2020

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Computing Research Institute - HBKU