Obioma Nwosu

Obioma Nwosu

Master's Thesis

Refinement and Usability Analysis of an E-Health Application for Rheumatic Patients as a Complimentary Treatment to Physical Therapy

Marlies Nitschke (M.Sc.)Ann-Kristin Seifer (M.Sc.), Dr. med Harriet Morf (Universitätsklinikum Erlangen), Prof. Dr. Björn Eskofier

01/2022 – 07/2022

Rheumatic diseases are complex autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that cause several difficulties for patients. One of the most common rheumatic diseases is ankylosing spondylitis [1], an inflammatory arthritis that targets the spine and causes stiffness and bony growths along the spine, leading to immobility. The pain and stiffness in the lower back and the inflammation in other larger joints can interfere with daily activities and can have a major impact on people’s quality of life. The use of yoga as a complementary treatment for spondylitis for both young and elder patients in the early or later stages of the disease has seen positive reviews from experts with one key point made on how it is a natural form of treatment and has little or no side effect when done properly with a help of a professional [2, 3].

With the increased range and availability of mobile devices and the importance of delivering services in a more comfortable and in recent days contact-less manner, the goal of this work alongside our project partner (Medizin 3, Rheumatologie, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen) is to provide yoga classes through a mobile application (YogiTheraphy) as a complementary treatment for patients suffering from rheumatic diseases. A prototype of YogiTheraphy was developed within the Innovation Lab of the MaD Lab. In contrast to existing yoga applications, YogiTheraphy is specialized for the treatment of rheumatic diseases and provides medical standardized tests to track the disease progression.

Within this thesis the application YogiTherapy will be refined and a special focus will be on the usability of the application. There is existing work on creating models and techniques used to evaluate and create better usability experience on mobile applications (medical, entertainment, education, etc.) [4]. The importance of usability evaluation cannot be overemphasized. From the user’s point of view usability is important because it can help users to complete tasks accurately on a product and users can operate the product easily without having too much to learn, hereby meeting users needs. From the developer’s aspect usability is an important principle to determine the success of a system [5].

[1] Akhondi H, Varacallo M. Rheumatoid Arthritis And Ankylosing Spondylitis. [Updated 2021 Sep 14]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
[2] Çınar, Fatma Ilknur et al.: Use of complementary and alternative medicine in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. European Journal of Rheumatology 8.1, 2021.
[3] Singh, Jyoti, et al. Potential Role of Yoga in the Management of Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Retrospective Study. Annals of Neurosciences 2021
[4] Zahra, Fatima, Azham Hussain, and Haslina Mohd.: Usability evaluation of mobile applications; where do we stand?.” AIP Conference Proceedings.Vol. 1891. No. 1. AIP Publishing LLC, 2017.
[5] Abdelaziz, T. M., Maatuk, and Rajab F.: An approach to improvement the usability in software products. International Journal of Software Engineering & Applications (IJSEA), 7(2), 11-18. 2016.
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[8] Iyawe, Bernadette Imuetinyan. User performance testing indicator: User performance indicator tool (upit). Design Solutions for User-Centric Information Systems. IGI Global, 2017. 205-229.
[9] Stoyanov, Stoyan R., et al.: Mobile app rating scale: a new tool for assessing the quality of health mobile apps. JMIR mHealth and uHealth 3.1 (2015): e3422.
[10] DeCuir-Gunby, Jessica T., Patricia L. Marshall, and Allison W. McCulloch.: Developing and using a codebook for the analysis of interview data: An example from a professional development research project. Field methods 23.2 (2011): 136-155.