The design of the novel eSTI2 healthcare intervention needs to be carefully planned and evaluated in order to achieve a better fit between technological, human and contextual factors.

The eSTI2 user interface is a key consideration as it provides the user with both the means to reach their interaction goals with the system and their main insight into the nature of the wider healthcare system with which they are interacting.

As part of this project, we will adopt a user centred approach to the design of an effective and user-acceptable Human Technology Interface (HTI) prototype for managing non-healthcare based STI diagnosis. This will include:-

  • Exploratory study of technology design implications of patient-care pathway preferences.
  • Iterative interface design and formative evaluation of design alternatives.
  • Controlled experiments to evaluate usability of mobile interface in terms of effiency, effectiveness and user satisfaction.
  • Design of usability measures for use in community trials and usability evaluation in context.

As eSTI2 remote self-testing, linked to online clinical management, is such a novel idea, it is important that we understand potential users’ views and behaviour. This helps us design eSTI2 to meet users’ needs and optimise impact on public health.

A completed qualitative interview study, with young adults, explored the conceptual acceptability of eSTI2 self-testing for STIs, away from healthcare settings and smartphone-enabled, linked to online care pathways to treatment and partner notification. Young people were broadly enthusiastic about eSTI2, particularly in terms of the speed and convenience of getting results and treatment, perceived greater ability to keep STI testing secret from family and peers, and expressed that it might make them more likely to test for STIs. Detailed findings from this study have already informed eSTI2's design.

Now that eSTI2 online clinical care pathways for chlamydia are being piloted, further qualitative interviews are taking place, about the views and experiences of people who have chosen to get their chlamydia care online (following a positive result from a conventional test).