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Publication Date



PMCID: PMC5106875 DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2016.07.014


The objective of this study was to develop a high-fidelity prototype for delivering multi-gene sequencing panel (GS) reports to clinicians that simulates the user experience of a final application. The delivery and use of GS reports can occur within complex and high-paced healthcare environments. We employ a user-centered software design approach in a focus group setting in order to facilitate gathering rich contextual information from a diverse group of stakeholders potentially impacted by the delivery of GS reports relevant to two precision medicine programs at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Responses from focus group sessions were transcribed, coded and analyzed by two team members. Notification mechanisms and information resources preferred by participants from our first phase of focus groups were incorporated into scenarios and the design of a software prototype for delivering GS reports. The goal of our second phase of focus group, to gain input on the prototype software design, was accomplished through conducting task walkthroughs with GS reporting scenarios. Preferences for notification, content and consultation from genetics specialists appeared to depend upon familiarity with scenarios for ordering and delivering GS reports. Despite familiarity with some aspects of the scenarios we proposed, many of our participants agreed that they would likely seek consultation from a genetics specialist after viewing the test reports. In addition, participants offered design and content recommendations. Findings illustrated a need to support customized notification approaches, user-specific information, and access to genetics specialists with GS reports. These design principles can be incorporated into software applications that deliver GS reports. Our user-centered approach to conduct this assessment and the specific input we received from clinicians may also be relevant to others working on similar projects.

Journal Title

Journal of biomedical informatics



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MeSH Keywords

Delivery of Health Care; Focus Groups; Humans; Precision Medicine; Sequence Analysis, DNA; Software; Software Design; User-Computer Interface


Genomic medicine; Genomic sequencing; Precision medicine; Task walkthroughs; User experience research