gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e.V. (GMDS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie

07. bis 10.09.2009, Essen

A Strategically designed Concept of a Physical Wellness Application for the iPhone

Meeting Abstract

Search Medline for

  • Prithu Sah - InterComponentWare AG, Walldorf
  • Oliver Emmler - InterComponentWare AG, Walldorf

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie. 54. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (gmds). Essen, 07.-10.09.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09gmds341

doi: 10.3205/09gmds341, urn:nbn:de:0183-09gmds3419

Published: September 2, 2009

© 2009 Sah et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally. WHO projects that by the year 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese [1]. Our Physical Wellness Application is a second generation persuasive tool [2] which helps users in fighting obesity.

Methodology: What makes our concept different from others is the emphasis on usability. We started off with research on iPhone user profiles, demographics and health [3], moved on to contextual enquiry [4], requirement analysis, interaction models [4], use objects [5], information

architecture [6], visual design, iterative testing and redesign and ended up with high fidelity mock-ups on Axure Usability is involved throughout the design process like in initial testing of competitor designs, conducting contextual enquiries and testing of prototypes. We

took the user into account at every step which led to creation of user friendly, engaging and efficient user experiences [7].

Result: The study develops a successful symbiotic relationship between the medical and mobile domain. The result is a robust and user friendly mock-up of a wellness application for target users of age 18–40 years. The application employs tunnelling, tailoring and suggestion as strategy for

effective persuasion [2]. The application provides user with customized recommendations on workouts. The user is led through a step by step sequence of actions with relevant, customized interventions, providing the right kind of motivation and thereby providing a better user experience [2]. The usability evaluation tests make the application more intuitive. This increase the likelihood of usage and repeat usage and hence improves ROI [7].

Discussion: We discuss how concepts of usability are employed in development of an intuitive and user friendly application. We talk about how our application uses motivation and persuasion to help user in fighting obesity. We look at strategies employed for effective persuasion. Finally

we discuss the impact of usability on the final design of the application.


World Health Organisation. WHO Facts on Obesity and Overweight. Available from: External link
Chatterjee S, Price A. Healthy living with persuasive technologies: Framework, Issues, and Challenges. JAMIA. 2009;16(2):171-8.
US Department of Health and Human Services. Health, United States, 2008 with Special Feature on Health of Young Adults. Washingtin, DC: US Government Printing Office. 2008. Available from: External link
Cooper A, Reimann RM. About Face . 0: The Essentials of Interaction Design. Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley Publishing Inc; 2003.
Roberts D, Berry D, Isensee S, Mullaly J. Designing for the User with OVID: Bridging User Interface Design and Software Engineering. Macmillan Technical Publishing; 1998.
Garrett JJ. A visual vocabulary for describing information architecture and interaction design. 2002. Available from: External link
Garrett JJ. The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web. United States of America: New Riders Publishing; 2003.
Prevention Institute. Reducing health care costs through prevention: The California Endowment. 2007. Available from: External link