Background: Caregiving in stroke is complex, with most carers having little to no preparation to care for individuals with a history of stroke, leading to emotional impact. Technologies such as Mobile Health can provide the carer with real-time support and prepare the carer to assume their new roles and responsibilities.
Objectives: To perform a heuristic evaluation of mHealth interventions designed to support carers of individuals with a history of stroke and determine the user preferences in stroke caregiving technology to inform future researchers and developers regarding the best practices to support these individuals.
Methods: Twenty adults (i.e. 10 usability experts and 10 carers) participated in an iterative user-centred design study that focused on developing and modifying the mHealth intervention (StrokeCaregiver (SeCr)) created to support stroke caregiving. The intervention was repeated in four cycles, including two cycles with five usability experts each and five carers each.
Results: SeCr was iteratively improved to develop a highly usable product in multiple cycles. Participants demonstrated critical needs in personalized information support, communication with their healthcare needs, and the trust of the user, content, and developer. These critical needs are required to be met to promote long-term acceptance and adherence.
Conclusions: While SeCr was developed to address the needs of carers of individuals with a history of stroke, several considerations must be made to ensure it can be used in a real-world setting. Researchers and developers can use co-design or living lab approaches to further meet the needs and expectations of the carer and enable these individuals to be better prepared for stroke caregiving.