Call for papers for a Special Issue of “Journal of Biomedical Informatics”

We welcome you to submit your work on a Special Issue of “Journal of Biomedical Informatics” entitled “Personalization in mHealth: Innovative informatics methods to improve patient experience and health outcome”.

For more information please visit the Special Issue website:

The term mHealth is typically defined as the use of mobile information and communication technologies in health care. mHealth used by patients promises to foster patient engagement and ultimately improve patient experience and health outcome.

The effectiveness of mHealth can be increased by personalization. Personalization in general means incorporating information about patient and context into an application. Personalization implies a modification of an application that is aimed at a specific user. Personalization can thus be defined as a “process which changes the functionality, interface, content or distinctiveness of a system to increase its personal relevance”.

Personalization can also be used for mHealth applications to make them more accepted and more effective. mHealth personalization can tailor, for example, the content, timing or visualization of an information or a message to the patient or support individual goal setting. mHealth personalization can be based, e.g., on patient’s socio-demographic data, patient’s health data, preferences of the patient, patient’s digital and health literacy, or environmental sensor data.

While personalization of mHealth applications has been applied for some years, it is still unclear which type of personalization in mHealth applications is most effective in which context to improve user experience and health-related outcomes. It is also unclear how theories of patient engagement or behavior change can be used for planning personalization to make mHealth applications effective and accepted.

This special issue provides a high-quality forum for interdisciplinary researchers to propose novel informatics methods for personalization in mHealth to improve patient experience and health outcomes. Examples of novel informatics approaches in the domain of this special issue can be found on the call for papers wesite. The submitted papers should center around relevant problems experienced in the medical domain and propose innovative approaches (methods) to deal with them. The special issue welcomes high-quality and innovative submissions on a wide range of topics, including (but not limited to):

•Definition, dimensions, types and architectures of personalization
•Theoretical frameworks for personalization of mHealth application (e.g., behavior change theory and patient engagement theory)
•Just-in-time adaptive personalization, patient avatars, personal coaches, gamification
•Personalization, precision medicine, digital therapy and patient-oriented recommendations
•Patient acceptance, digital literacy and health literacy
•Big data, machine learning, simulation and personalization
•User-centred design, usability engineering and personalization
•Ethical and practical challenges of personalization, data privacy
•Impact of mHealth personalization on patient engagement and health outcome
•Systematic reviews on any of these topics
•Innovative examples of mHealth personalization (as short communication)
•Innovative algorithm and approaches for mHealth personalization (as short communication)

Peer review process

All submitted papers must be original and will go through a rigorous peer-review process with at least two reviewers. Papers previously published in conference proceedings will not be considered. JBI’s editorial policy will be strictly followed by special issue reviewers. Note in particular that JBI emphasizes the publication of papers that introduce innovative and generalizable methods of interest to the informatics community. Specific applications can be described to motivate the methodology being introduced, but papers that focus solely on a specific application are not suitable for JBI. Examples of novel informatics approaches in the domain of this special issue are: [4][7][8][9].


Authors must submit their papers via the online Elsevier Editorial System (EES) at by January 2nd, 2023. Authors should select “Personalization in mHealth” as their submission category and note in a cover letter that their submission is for the “Special Issue on Personalization in mHealth”. If the manuscript is not intended as an original research paper, the cover letter should also specify if it is, rather, a Methodological Review, Commentary, or Short Communication. Authors should make sure to place their work in the context of human-focused biomedical research or health care, and to review carefully the relevant literature.

JBI’s editorial policy, and the types of articles that the journal publishes, are outlined under Aims and Scope on the journal home page at (click on “Read more” for full details). All submissions should follow the guidelines for authors at informatics/1532-0464/guide-for-authors, including format and manuscript structure. If the authors speak a first language other than English, editorial assistance by a native English speaker is highly recommended prior to submission. Open-source software code and data should ideally be made available through Internet resources that are enduring. JBI is an international journal and generalizable contributions from throughout the world are highly encouraged.

There are two publication options (see–0464/open-access-options):

1)Gold Open Access (prices)
2)Green Open Access at no fee. An author is entitled to post the accepted manuscript in their institution’s repository and make this public after an embargo period of 1 year.

Questions regarding the special issue

Please direct any questions regarding the special issue to Dr. Elske Ammenwerth (