Master's Thesis

A Wearable-Data Enhanced Digital Maternity Log Including Cyberchondria-Aware User Interaction Concepts

Michael Nissen (M.Sc), Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier 

06/2020 – 12/2020


The German maternity logbook has been introduced in 1961 and obtained primarily positive
feedback since. It standardized preventive checkups for pregnant women, information propagation,
led to a significant decrease in newborn mortality and increased the interest of expecting mothers in
medical details of their own child [1, 2]. Considering the technological advances in the last 60 years,
some people claim the German maternity logbook lags behind current technological possibilities
and requires a revision to increase efficiency and effectiveness [1, 3]. Some research effort has
already been spent in its digitization, however it primarily focused on technological feasibility,
instead of catering more to actual needs of expecting mothers and healthcare professionals [1, 2, 3].
This includes the lack of use for current wearable sensors that allow unobtrusive long-term
health-data recording. Such data enable new chances to identify patterns which might allow an
early prediction of pregnancy complications [4]. However, this also raises new concerns, as pregnant
women might not understand the meaning of the underlying sensor readings. This might lead to
increased cyberchondria, which is known to increase health anxiety e.g. by overly pessimistic
online-web-search-driven self-diagnoses [5, 6]. Yet, user motivation is a prerequisite for continuous
data recording and app usage. It is unclear which motivation and interaction strategy is most
suitable for pregnant women handling such data and might involve the development of novel
concepts for data obfuscation and interaction.
This thesis therefore aims to identify existing interaction concepts in this field, adapt these
for the use-case of a maternity logbook app and review the impact of visualization obfuscation
techniques in context of cyberchondria. It should be investigated whether it is possible to adapt
existing app interaction and motivation techniques for the target group of pregnant women.
Furthermore, an interaction and data visualisation concept should be researched that minimizes
cyberchondria, but does not negatively impact user acceptance and motivation.



[1] Maul, H., Waller, T., Hoischen, S., Sohn, C.: Der elektronische Mutterpass-Potenzial eines innovativen Konzepts.
Frauenarzt 47, 2006, 800-804
[2] Zimmermann, R., Bloechlinger-Wegmann, B., Kurmanavicius, J.: Der elektronische Mutterpass. Der Gynakologe 4,
2006, 278-282
[3] San, O.Y., Husain, W.: Maternity data management utilizing cloud computing. 2014 International Conference on
Computer and Information Sciences (ICCOINS), 2014, 1-6
[4] Souza, R.T., Cecatti, J.G., Mayrink, J., et al.: Identification of earlier predictors of pregnancy complications through
wearable technologies in a Brazilian multicentre cohort: Maternal Actigraphy Exploratory Study I (MAES-I) study
protocol. BMJ Open, 2019
[5] White, R.W., Horvitz, E.: Experiences with web search on medical concerns and self diagnosis. AMIA annual symposium
proceedings, 2009, 696-700
[6] White, R.W., Horvitz, E.: Cyberchondria: Studies of the Escalation of Medical Concerns in Web Search. ACM
Transactions on Information Systems, Vol. 27, No. 4, Article 23, 2009