Sponsor: National Library of Medicine, NIH, R01LM013039-01

African American and Hispanic populations are less likely to access health and medical information through common sources/channels compared to their White counterparts. Although this information can help prevent high-prevalence diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, factors such as trust in certain sources (e.g. doctors), health literacy levels, or cultural and language preferences are known barriers to African Americans’ and Hispanics’ active health information seeking. Because smartphones are a common consumer device among all races and ethnicities, our goal is to refine and test a smartphone application (app) for personal health libraries that bridges the gap between available but under-used health information and the people who need it.

Specific Aims

  • Aim 1: Understand the intended users of a prevention-focused app and involve them in participatory design to refine the prototype app.
  • Aim 2: Refine the prototype app so it is testable with intended users and consistent with published app requirements.
  • Aim 3: Develop and assess the effectiveness of the application’s inference engine (personalized recommendation algorithms), using user-interactions.


Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research (CHEER)
University of Maryland Center for Health Equity


Maryland Today