Chances of Increasing Youth Health Awareness through Mobile Wellness Applications

  • Andreas Holzinger
  • Stefan Dorner
  • Manuela Födinger
  • André Calero Valdez
  • Martina Ziefle
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6389)


The poor general state of health of the Austrian youth – which is possibly representative for the western industrial world – will have dramatic effects on our health care system in years to come. Health risks among adolescents, including smoking, alcohol, obesity, lack of physical activity and an unhealthy diet, will lead to an increase in chronic diseases. A preventive measure against such a development could be to reinforce health awareness through the use of web and mobile applications supporting self observation and behavior change. In this paper, we present an overview of the latest developments in the area of mobile wellness and take a look at the features of applications that constitutes the current state of the art, as well as their shortcomings and ways of overcoming these. Finally, we discuss the possibilities offered by new technological developments in the area of mobile devices and by incorporating the characteristics that make up the Web 2.0.


Wellness Health mobile computing self-observation behavior change Web 2.0 prevention 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Chini, L. W., Dorner, W.: Kranke Kinder, was tun? Bessere Prävention macht auch Volkswirtschaft gesünder, Pressetext 2010-03-23, (last access: 2010-08-19)
  2. 2.
    Saranummi, N.: IT applications for pervasive, personal, and personalized health. IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine 12(1), 1–4 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Andry, F., Freeman, L., Gillson, J., Kienitz, J., Lee, M., Naval, G., Nicholson, D.: Highly-Interactive and User-Friendly Web Application for People with Diabetes. In: IEEE International Conference on Communication Systems, HEALTHCOM 2008, pp. 118–120 (2008)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Holzinger, A., Hoeller, M., Bloice, M., Urlesberger, B.: Typical Problems with developing mobile applications for health care: Some lessons learned from developing user-centered mobile applications in a hospital environment. In: Filipe, J., Marca, D.A., Shishkov, B., Sinderen, M.v. (eds.) International Conference on E-Business (ICEB 2008), pp. 235–240. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Holzinger, A., Mayr, S., Slany, W., Debevc, M.: The influence of AJAX on Web Usability ICEB, pp. 124–127. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2010)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mandryk, R.L., Atkins, M.S.: A fuzzy physiological approach for continuously modeling emotion during interaction with play technologies. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 65(4), 329–347 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Koskinen, E., Sahninen, J.: A customizable mobile tool for supporting health behavior interventions. In: 2007 Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, vol. 1-16, pp. 5908–5911. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2007)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Yang, Y.: The design and implementation of a Web mobile-based behavior change application system. In: 5th International Conference on Information Technology and Applications in Biomedicine (ITAB 2008) in Conjunction with 2nd International Symposium & Summer School on Biomedical and Health Engineering (IS3BHE 2008), pp. 491–494. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Welsch, H., Müller, K.: iBody, (last access: 2010-08-19)
  10. 10.
    Walters, D.L., Sarela, A., Fairfull, A., Neighbour, K., Cowen, C., Stephens, B., Sellwood, T., Sellwood, B., Steer, M., Aust, M., Francis, R., Lee, C.K., Hoffman, S., Brealey, G., Karunanithi, M.: A mobile phone-based care model for outpatient cardiac rehabilitation: the care assessment platform (CAP). BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 10 (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Katz, D.L., Nordwall, B.: Novel interactive cell-phone technology for health enhancement. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology 2(1), 147–153 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Constantinescu, L., Pradana, R., Kim, J., Gong, P., Fulham, M., Feng, D.: Rich internet application system for patient-centric healthcare data management using handheld devices EMBC. In: 2009 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, pp. 5167–5170 (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Calero-Valdez, A., Ziefle, M., Alagöz, F., Holzinger, A.: Mental Models of Menu Structures in Diabetes Assistants. In: Miesenberger, K., Klaus, J., Zagler, W., Karshmer, A. (eds.) ICCHP 2010. LNCS, vol. 6180, pp. 584–591. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Calero Valdez, A., Ziefle, M., Horstmann, A., Herding, D., Schroeder, U.: Effects of Aging and Domain Knowledge on Usability in Small Screen Devices for Diabetes Patients. In: Holzinger, A., Miesenberger, K. (eds.) USAB 2009. LNCS, vol. 5889, pp. 366–386. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Calero-Valdez, A., Ziefle, M., Schroeder, U., Horstmann, A., Herding, D.: Task performance in mobile and ambient interfaces. In: IEEE International Conference of the I-Society, Does size matter for usability of electronic diabetes assistants? Full paper at the, IEEE (2010) (in press)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mattila, E., Korhonen, I., Lappalainen, R., Ahtinen, A., Hopsu, L., Leino, T.: IEEE, Nuadu Concept for Personal Management of Lifestyle Related Health Risks. In: 2008 30th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, vol. 1-8, pp. 5846–5850. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mattila, E., Parkka, J., Hermersdorf, M., Kaasinen, J., Vainio, J., Samposalo, K., Merilahti, J., Kolari, J., Kulju, M., Lappalainen, R., Korhonen, K.: Mobile diary for wellness management - Results on usage and usability in two user studies. IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine 12(4), 501–512 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ahtinen, A., Ramiah, S., Blom, J., Isomursu, M.: Design of mobile wellness applications: identifying cross-cultural factors. In: Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Designing for Habitus and Habitat, pp. 164–171 (2008)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ahtinen, A., Mattila, E., Vaatanen, A., Hynninen, L., Salminen, J., Koskinen, E., Laine, K.: User experiences of mobile wellness applications in health promotion: User study of Wellness Diary, Mobile Coach and SelfRelax Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. In: 3rd International Conference on Pervasive Health 2009, pp. 1–8 (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mattila, E., Korhonen, I., Salminen, J.H., Ahtinen, A., Koskinen, E., Sarela, A., Parkka, J., Lappalainen, R.: Empowering Citizens for Well-being and Chronic Disease Management With Wellness Diary. IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine 14(2), 456–463 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Falchuk, B.: Visual and interaction design themes in mobile healthcare. In: 2009 6th Annual International Mobile and Ubiquitous Systems: Networking & Services, MobiQuitous 2009, pp. 1–10. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2009)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Popescu, A.: Geolocation API Specification, (last access: 2010-08-19)
  23. 23.
    Lieberman, D.A.: Interactive video games for health promotion: Effects on knowledge, self-efficacy, social support, and health. In: Street, R.L., Gold, W.R., Manning, T. (eds.) Health Promotion and Interactive Technology: Theoretical Applications and Future Directions. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah (1997)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Brown, S.J., Lieberman, D.A., Gemeny, B.A., Fan, Y.C., Wilson, D.M., Pasta, D.J.: Educational video game for juvenile diabetes: Results of a controlled trial. Medical Informatics 22(1), 77–89 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ward, R., Moule, P., Lockyer, L.: Adoption of Web 2.0 Technologies in Education for Health Professionals in the UK: Where are we and why? Academic Conferences Ltd., Reading (2008)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Holzinger, A., Kickmeier-Rust, M.D., Ebner, M.: Interactive Technology for Enhancing Distributed Learning: A Study on Weblogs. In: HCI 2009 The 23nd British HCI Group Annual Conference, pp. 309–312 (2009)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Trogdon, J.G., Nonnemaker, J., Pais, J.: Peer effects in adolescent overweight. Journal of Health Economics 27(5), 1388–1399 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Renna, F., Grafova, I.B., Thakur, N.: The effect of friends on adolescent body weight. Economics & Human Biology 6(3), 377–387 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ziefle, M., Bay, S.: How older adults meet complexity: aging effects on the usability of different mobile phones. Behaviour & Information Technology 24(5), 375–389 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ziefle, M., Bay, S.: How to overcome disorientation in mobile phone menus: A comparison of two different types of navigation aids. Human Computer Interaction 21(4), 393–432 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Holzinger, A., Searle, G., Kleinberger, T., Seffah, A., Javahery, H.: Investigating Usability Metrics for the Design and Development of Applications for the Elderly. In: Miesenberger, K. (ed.) ICCHP 2008. LNCS, vol. 5105, pp. 98–105. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ziefle, M., Bay, S.: Transgenerational Designs in Mobile Technology. In: Lumsden, J. (ed.) Handbook of Research on User Interface Design and Evaluation for Mobile Technology, pp. 122–140. IGI Global (2008)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Arning, K., Ziefle, M.: Barriers of information access in small screen device applications: The relevance of user characteristics for a transgenerational design. In: Stephanidis, C., Pieper, M. (eds.) ERCIM Ws UI4ALL 2006. LNCS, vol. 4397, pp. 117–136. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ziefle, M.: The influence of user expertise and phone complexity on performance, ease of use and learnability of different mobile phones. Behaviour & Information Technology 21(5), 303–311 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Bay, S., Ziefle, M.: Children Using Cellular Phones. The Effects of shortcomings in user Interface Design. Human Factors 47(1), 158–168 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Bay, S., Ziefle, M.: Landmarks or surveys? The impact of different instructions on children’s performance in hierarchical menu structures. Computers in Human Behavior 24(3), 1246–1274 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Cooper, A.: The Inmates are Running the Asylum: Why High-Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity. Sams, Indianapolis (IN) (1999) Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Borchers, J., Jakobs, E.-M., Ziefle, M., Russell, P., Schmitz-Rode, T.: Health@Home. Technology supporting personal quality of life decisions. White Paper at RWTH Aachen University, Germany (2010)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Ziefle, M., Jakobs, E.-M.: New challenges in Human Computer Interaction: Strategic Directions and Interdisciplinary Trends. In: 4th International Conference on Competitive Manufacturing Technologies, pp. 389–398 (2010)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Hassenzahl, M.: The effect of perceived hedonic quality on product appealingness. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 13(4), 481–499 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hassenzahl, M.: The Thing and I: Understanding the relationship between user and product. In: Blyhte, M.A., Overbeeke, K., Monk, A.F., Wright, P.C. (eds.) Funology. From Usability to Enjoyment, pp. 31–42. Kluwer, Dordrecht (2004)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Wright, P., Mc Carthy, J., Meekinson, L.: Making sense of experience. In: Blyhte, M.A., Overbeeke, K., Monk, A.F., Wright, P.C. (eds.) Funology. From Usability to Enjoyment, pp. 43–53. Kluwer, Dordrecht (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Holzinger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefan Dorner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Manuela Födinger
    • 3
  • André Calero Valdez
    • 4
  • Martina Ziefle
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Medical Informatics (IMI), Research Unit HCI4MEDMedical University GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Institute for Information Systems and Computer Media (IICM)Graz University of TechnologyGrazAustria
  3. 3.Institut für LabordiagnostikKaiser Franz Josef SpitalWienAustria
  4. 4.Human Technology Centre (Humtec)RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

Personalised recommendations