A Comparison of Two Personal Health Portals: British Columbia's Health Gateway and China's Healthcare Cloud




Yan, Yi (Carrie)

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Increasingly, countries internationally have begun offering citizens access to their health information through personal health portals (PHP). A PHP aims to empower users with secure access to their health data to facilitate proactively managing and controlling their health. The content contained in health portals varies, but many provide users with their laboratory results, medical records, prescription medications, and other information depending on each portal’s specific purpose. The COVID-19 pandemic created an additional use for these portals – to allow citizens to see their COVID-19 test results and vaccination status. British Columbia offers a PHP called Health Gateway (HG) and China offers one named Healthcare Cloud (HC). The usability of PHPs is increasingly crucial as more people use them. This study compared the usability of HG and HC through testing selected COVID-19 related tasks. Both PHPs would benefit from including visuals to represent health records and increase health documentation such as tutorials to assist users in completing tasks. This study revealed usability issues that could be improved in future designs PHPs. However, people that use PHPs vary, and PHPs need to be tailored and enhanced accordingly.



COVID-19 pandemic, heuristic evaluation, usability, health portal, Consumer health informatics