Design of an interactive system for monitoring pregnancy at home

pregnancy monitoring narrowerFrom January 2012 to October 2012, I worked as an Interaction Design Engineer for SEBAN (Smart Energy Body Area Networks) for Pregnancy Monitoring, in the Designed Intelligence Group (TU/e, Eindhoven, Netherlands) in collaboration with the Mixed Signal Microelectronics (MSM) and Signal Processing Systems (SPS) Groups (TU/e), Philips Research, IMEC Holst Center and Maxima Medical Center.

SEBAN aims at monitoring the condition of the mother and the fetus during pregnancy, detecting complications and predicting the delivery time. In this context, a novel low-power home-based pregnancy monitoring system is proposed. Based on the technology provided by the MSM and SPS groups, my first duty was to determine the use cases, in which such a system would be the most valuable for mothers and physicians during prenatal care, as well as the involved user groups and their needs. After defining a concrete concept for such a system, my goal was to design an interactive integrated solution for it. Involving the users in every phase of this project was also an objective.

During the first phase of this project, I performed a background study in order to get acquainted with the field of pregnancy monitoring and to get up to date with the work of the MSM and SPS groups. In the next phase I explored the design space; several possible scenarios of use of a pregnancy monitoring system were assumed by individual brainstorming, which I then refined to five concepts. I continued with user research, by conducting interviews with gynecologists and pregnant women in order to gather user requirements and understand the user perspectives. Based on the findings of this research and the recommendations of the users, I proposed a final concept. This concept regards a monitoring system that consists of a monitoring belt, a mobile application for the mother, a back-end server with database and a desktop application for the caregiver with two different configurations for different monitoring purposes. Based on this concept three prototypes were created; a mock-up prototype of the monitoring belt, a low-fidelity prototype of the desktop application for the caregiver and a high-fidelity prototype of an Android mobile application for the mother. A user study followed in order to evaluate one of the two configurations of the proposed system and in specific the usability of the mobile application. The users (mothers and fathers) appreciated the potential use of the system and more specific, they thought that it would make the exchange of information with the caregiver easier. The mobile application was considered to be mother-friendly, clear and simple to understand.

This project in keywords:

User Scenarios, Personas, Storyboards, Interviews, User Requirements, Concept Generation, Video Prototyping, Balsamiq Prototyping, Mobile Application Prototyping (Android), Mock-up Prototyping (wearable), User Evaluation, Mobile Application Usability Testing, Task Analysis, Cognitive Walkthrough, Questionnaires, Iterative User-Centered Design.

This project is confidential; more information can be provided upon request.

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Designed Intelligence Group in collaboration with Mixed Signal Microelectronics GroupSignal Processing Systems GroupPhilips ResearchIMEC Holst Center and Maxima Medical Center, Veldhoven.