CLEMSON – A Clemson University student team won the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s Mobile Health Applications for Consumers design competition.

Cheng Guo, a Ph.D. student in human-centered computing, and Spencer Kohn, a Clemson graduate who now is pursuing a master’s degree at George Mason University, designed a mobile application aimed to help enhance patient privacy when sharing health records.

Their application, “Hermes,” offers patients the ability to share their electronic health records with health care providers of their choosing while enabling them to keep portions of their health records private. Patients can maintain control of the privacy of their electronic health records in a simple, easy-to-use way.

“This international award recognizes excellence in the design of a mobile health technology. The winning design helps patients and their caregivers share health information in a privacy-preserving way,” said Kelly Caine, an assistant professor in Clemson’s Human-Centered Computing Division and the faculty supervisor for the student team.

“Spencer and Cheng were able to apply research we conducted to understand patients’ privacy needs directly. The design has the potential to have a huge impact on the way patients manage the privacy of their electronic health records in the future,” she said.

The focus of the competition was centered on designing a mobile application that would support patients and caregivers with health management. Participating teams were given the task of creating a useful and usable application that would both satisfy patients and improve patient outcomes.

Kohn and Guo were among 11 student teams that participated in the Mobile Health Applications for Consumers category and one of three that were selected as finalists.

The winning designers received a cash prize of $1,000.

The competition was held in conjunction with the 2015 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care: Improving the Outcomes.


Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Founded in 1957, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world’s largest scientific association for human factors and ergonomics professionals. All members share a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people operating and maintain them. There are more than 4,800 members globally.