User experience of a family health history chatbot: A quantitative analysis

Health Informatics J. 2024 Apr-Jun;30(2):14604582241262251. doi: 10.1177/14604582241262251.


Objective: Family health history (FHx) is an important tool in assessing one's risk towards specific health conditions. However, user experience of FHx collection tools is rarely studied. (ItRuns) was developed to assess FHx and hereditary cancer risk. This study reports a quantitative user experience analysis of ItRuns.

Methods: We conducted a public health campaign in November 2019 to promote FHx collection using ItRuns. We used software telemetry to quantify abandonment and time spent on ItRuns to identify user behaviors and potential areas of improvement.

Results: Of 11,065 users who started the ItRuns assessment, 4305 (38.91%) reached the final step to receive recommendations about hereditary cancer risk. Highest abandonment rates were during Introduction (32.82%), Invite Friends (29.03%), and Family Cancer History (12.03%) subflows. Median time to complete the assessment was 636 s. Users spent the highest median time on Proband Cancer History (124.00 s) and Family Cancer History (119.00 s) subflows. Search list questions took the longest to complete (median 19.50 s), followed by free text email input (15.00 s).

Conclusion: Knowledge of objective user behaviors at a large scale and factors impacting optimal user experience will help enhance the ItRuns workflow and improve future FHx collection.

Keywords: chatbot; family health history; health information technology; telemetry; user behavior; user experience.

MeSH terms

  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking* / methods
  • Medical History Taking* / statistics & numerical data
  • Software
  • Telemetry / methods