University of Oulu

Accessibility in health mobile applications

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Author: Ollila, Maria1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Pages: 51
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Ollila, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-26
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Giunti Garcia, Guido
Reviewer: Giunti Garcia, Guido
Isomursu, Minna


Nowadays, there is a vast number of mobile devices capable of storing an individual’s entire life. There are applications for everything, from banking to ordering food and clothes, but also different health applications targeted towards different impairments and self-health care management. Self-health care management applications can have a significant impact on individuals with various diseases and impairments. However, it is essential that these applications are accessible to users with different impairments such as motor and vision impairments.

The purpose of this study was to examine accessibility concerns in mobile health applications for individuals with multiple sclerosis and evaluate how these concerns were addressed. Multiple sclerosis was chosen as the focus of this study because its symptoms encompass a range of impairments, including vision, motion, hearing, and cognitive limitations.

The study was conducted with benchmarking multiple sclerosis applications obtained in Google Play store. Benchmarking focused on accessibility, and measurements and metrics were gathered testing applications with Google Accessibility Scanner and TalkBack screen reader. Measurements were based on web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2 and accessibility guidelines for mobile applications.

None of the tested applications followed accessibility guideline requirements based on benchmarking metrics. When examining the metrics from the perspective of impairments, it was found that applications had accessibility concerns related to motor and vision impairments. The applications addressed requirements for hearing impairments in applicable features, while testing cognitive impairment requirements proved challenging with the selected testing tools. In the future, it is recommended to conduct additional accessibility testing for cognitive impairments using methods such as manual accessibility testing and user testing.

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Copyright information: © Maria Ollila, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.