Research Brief - Volume 2017, Number 02, September 6, 2017

Link Checkers and Basic Accessibility Testers for Websites

Ensuring website optimization and ease of use are goals of any developer. This holds especially true for organizations disseminating a lot of information to a variety of users from different backgrounds and with different ability levels. Broken links or missing alt text can be frustrating for some people with accessibility challenges. These also detract from the user experience. To mitigate these website errors or accidental exclusions, developers and even laymen can use various online resources to check the efficiency and ease of use of websites.

This report reviews some of these resources, giving broad information on services offered and how these tools can also be used as a basic accessibility test. Topics include:

  • Programs for website testing
  • Locations to download /use each program
  • Recommendations

Research Report - Volume 2017, Number 01, March 8, 2017

Mobile Health Apps and the Needs of People with Disabilities: A National Survey

Mobile health (mHealth) technology is taking on a critical role in health care in the U.S. as maturing technologies grow increasingly capable of supporting the needs of health care providers to focus on population health instead of traditional fee‐for‐service models. Direct investment in mHealth technologies has grown substantially in recent years, as has merger and acquisition activity. Meanwhile large vendors of mainstream consumer technology (e.g., Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung) have dedicated more resources to mHealth solutions, particularly in the area of fitness and activity tracking, but also medical solutions. 

Research Brief - Volume 2016, Number 01

Commercial and experimental biosensor solutions for use with stress management apps on smart devices

LiveWell RERC research and development staff are working to develop a wireless sensor that detects physiological indicators of stress through ecological momentary assessment and integrates with stress management apps on smart devices. The biosensor will integrate with two apps we are currently developing: 1) a coaching app for using a breathing technique for stress management built for wearable devices, and 2) a problem-solving app for smartphones and tablets. When the biosensor detects signs of stress, it will trigger a cue on a smart device that indicates to users that they may be experiencing an increase in stress and may benefit from using a stress management strategy. Confirmation of the need to use a selected stress management strategy will cause the respective app to launch.