Carlos Perez

Carlos Perez

Master's Thesis

Usability Aspects of Pregnancy Applications and Digital Maternity Records

Michael Nissen (M.Sc.), Hannah Bleher (M.Sc.), Dr. med. Adriana TitzmannProf. Dr. Björn Eskofier

08 / 2021 – 02 / 2022

Embracing digital health (DH) is believed to be a viable way to improve healthcare services [1]. Digital Health uses an array of hardware and software technologies to substitute in-person care, augment existing solutions with better self-management and greater personalization and create new care by reaching more people [2].

Prenatal care could benefit from DH solutions by using wearable devices to frequently collect physiological parameters and potentially identify abnormal prenatal events or with the usage of lifestyle and medical mobile applications [3] It also has been shown that applications related to pregnancy have become an important information source for pregnant women [4].

Nevertheless, DH solutions could lead to low-value care such as ineffectiveness (produces harm to patients), inefficiency (adds unnecessary care) or misalignment with users’ preferences and acceptance [2]. Furthermore, privacy policies related to data sharing have been frequently overlooked in the existing maternity applications [5]. User experience research and usability testing provide tools to answer these questions.

This thesis aims to investigate how a DH solution could add value to the prenatal healthcare while avoiding the mentioned issues in context of a digital maternity record application.

[1] Sirina Keesara, Andrea Jonas, and Kevin Schulman. Covid-19 and Health Care’s Digital Revolution. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(23):e82, June 2020.
[2] Monica O’Reilly-Jacob, Penny Mohr, Moriah Ellen, Carolyn Petersen, Catherine Sarkisian, Sharon Attipoe, and Eugene Rich. Digital health & low-value care. Healthcare, 9(2):100533, June 2021.
[3] Sanne B Overdijkink, Adeline V Velu, Ageeth N Rosman, Monique DM van Beukering, Marjolein Kok, and Regine PM Steegers-Theunissen. The Usability and Effectiveness of Mobile Health Technology Based Lifestyle and Medical Intervention Apps Supporting Health Care During Pregnancy: Systematic Review. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 6(4):e109, April 2018.
[4] Yeonkyu Lee and Mikyung Moon. Utilization and Content Evaluation of Mobile Applications for Pregnancy, Birth, and Child Care. Healthcare Informatics Research, 22(2):73, 2016.
[5] Mariam Bachiri, Ali Idri, José Luis Fernández-Alemán, and Ambrosio Toval. Evaluating the Privacy Policies of Mobile Personal Health