An Ontology-Driven Approach To Personalised mHealth Application Development

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Mobile devices when provisioned with intuitive mobile healthcare (mHealth) applications provide a powerful platform that has been recognised to have made a significant impact on healthcare delivery. The popularity of mHealth applications is rapidly expanding amongst consumers and there is a continuous demand to improve the effectiveness of mHealth applications. Personalisation has already been acknowledged by the healthcare industry as a mechanism to improve healthcare delivery, recognising that each consumer is unique. Yet, a typical mHealth application is designed to cater for the needs of large target demographics and are frequently developed without the necessary knowledge and expertise of healthcare providers. As a result, they often fail to meet the consumer's specific healthcare requirements. Since healthcare professionals understand the specific healthcare requirements of a consumer, they are best suited for developing personalised mobile healthcare applications. However, they do not possess the familiarity, skills and knowledge to address the challenges associated with mobile application development. Therefore, this research addresses the need for a new approach to personalised mHealth application development in the form of an extensible ontology-driven framework that enables healthcare professionals to create personalised mHealth applications for healthcare consumers. This research explored personalisation & the challenges of personalised mobile application development, existing approaches and related works. Followed by a detailed investigation into the various health-related functions available in mHealth applications designed for healthcare consumers, that led to the creation of the mHealth Application Function Taxonomy. The next phase presents the theoretical design and development considerations of the Personalised Mobile Application Development (PMAD) ontology. The PMAD ontology encapsulates key knowledge associated with the development of personalised mHealth applications, that can be operationalised to compensate for the missing domain expertise during the personalised mHealth application development process. The final and contribution of this research describes and defines the approach and components of the Personalised Mobile Application Development ontology-driven framework that addresses the limitations of existing end-user programming solutions and enables healthcare professionals to create personalised mHealth applications for healthcare consumers.
Date of Award9 Apr 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorELLA PEREIRA (Director of Studies), GARRY MCDOWELL (Supervisor) & CHITRA BALAKRISHNA (Supervisor)


  • mobile
  • healthcare
  • mHealth
  • taxonomy
  • ontology
  • fraamework
  • personalisation

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