Wireless sensor networks have developed rapidly to create smart living environments. The Web 4.0 paradigm has strengthened interactive read–write execution between information receivers and applications (apps), machine interpretation and calculation, and correlation identification within data, and it has also referred to the established goal to determine programs and methods for execution to achieve automation in technologies, including smart devices, digital life apps, multimodal human–computer interaction, and home network security [1
]. To increase the quality of the apps, operators have begun to be concerned with the interaction to different content and service available in whole communication channels [3
According to the model of player in a platform ecosystem [4
], this study reinterprets the concept of three roles in health and fitness apps: platform operators, content producers, and information receivers. Platform operators and interface providers formulate management terms and provide user interfaces to content producers and information receivers; content producers showcase their products and services in apps; information receivers purchase these products or services as well as exchanging opinions and information within the apps [4
]. Health and fitness apps are used for system management such as fitness assessment, venue and equipment management, event management, and sports forums. However, through mobile devices, these apps can now access data related to information receivers to organize communities and monitor information. The financial industry has collected data on recipients’ exercise or physical activity through their health and fitness apps to design consumer discounts and premium reductions. Information receivers’ level of information use differs according to their relationships with app content producers, information sources, and content. Therefore, it is essential to focus on an in-depth research on the perspectives of platform operators, content producers, and information receivers in order to use the health and fitness apps to achieve their goals.
The previous studies on health information have been focused on database development and app management, both of which establish the foundation for the operation of health and fitness apps and include system management [5
], database establishment [6
], fitness guidance and assessment [7
], the intelligent management of venues and equipment [8
], information-sharing platforms [9
], and outdoor sports forum [10
]. Moreover, apps are designed to provide suitable information services to content producers and meet the personal needs of information receivers. The previous studies in the field of health and fitness apps emphasize on the information receivers’ perceived utility, trust, ease of use, usefulness, enjoyment, actual use, and intention [3
]. Those studies on the communication effects of health and fitness apps, content producers, and information receivers have been scarce [10
], rendering the interaction among the three roles in the communication process difficult to understand.
In human–computer symbiosis, the roles of platform operators, content producers, and information receivers as well as the content of delivered information and interaction models, experience dynamic changes and exert mutual effects. In particular, millions of people at home during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the tremendous information flow to impact on the platform ecosystem of health and fitness apps, which highlights the importance of understanding the topic of the intention to use the apps by the population [3
]. Therefore, the establishment of mutual goals among platform operators, information receivers, and content producers and the assessment of information quality and effectiveness require further discussion. This study explored the interactive value among platform operators, content producers, and information receivers with regard to information through the health and fitness apps of different platform operators.
The main contribution of this research is its use of existing data, correct of the comprehensive perspective, and a continuous monitoring system to assist the health and fitness industry in making predictions, simplifying its operating procedures on the basis of its needs, systemizing the estimation process, and strengthening the reliability and validity of results, which can reduce uncertainty and costs. Secondly, informational value depends on information exchange to further influence the conversion of target behaviors of information receivers. Content producers of health and fitness information can reference the study results to adjust information content, thereby increasing opportunities of the target behavior conversion rate of information receivers and predicting the characteristics of potential information receivers. Thirdly, to evaluate the value of sports and health information, this study collected data from open databases and incorporated theories with big data. The relevance of health and fitness information on platforms in related enterprises and industries can be estimated to enhance the input and output efficiency of the health industry.
4. Conclusions and Future Suggestions
This study analyzed the three roles of platform users by mining the data of the 50 most popular health and fitness apps. By using the AHP, the weights assigned to each dimension in operating health and fitness apps by platform operators, content producers, and information receivers were compared. Overall, the panel members were more concerned about the content, followed by users’ comments, platform terms, and content updates (Figure 1
). Among the sub-dimensions, the monitoring and exercise content categories were ranked at first and second place, followed by the functionality and interactivity of user reviews (third and fourth place), and platform privacy and the accuracy of platform terms (fifth and sixth place). Such prioritization by the panel members can inform the more precise allocation of resources for health and fitness app operations.
Based on the original role interaction mechanism [4
], we discovered that the interaction between content producers and information receivers can be used for platform role analysis in different dimensions. Follow-up analyses may reference the interaction between content producers and information receivers. Future studies may incorporate the iPhone operating system. This inclusion can enable researchers to compare user roles between the two major platforms and analyze interplatform differences to expand discussion on platform interaction mechanisms.