Mom Logs is an app created for the NJII hackathon in January 2019. The event focused on trying to lower the mortality rate for postpartum mothers. The app is as a verbal diary for mothers to enter daily voice entries about how they are feeling. From those entries we extract key symptom data and attempt to diagnose mothers with potential conditions based on those symptoms.
This app was developed for this particular hackathon event. This hackathon focused on lowering the postpartum mortality and morbidity rates of New Jersey mothers. As per the rules of the event we only had 24 hours to create and design a prototype that would serve as a possible solution to the problem. I was on a team of two that consisted of myself and a software developer. The following case study is of the prototype we created. Throughout the case study I refer to the users as "mothers". This was a very imporant destinction to make as we were designing this app for them.
New Jersey has the 3rd highest mortality rate for postpartum mothers. After giving birth, mothers are not aware of health risks they face.
We only had 24 hours to create this prototype. I was on a team two (myself and a mobile developer)
We approached the project by first doing some topic research. We met with various hospital administrators, OBGYNs and midwives to learn more about the risks postpartum mothers face. We gathered enough information from them and the internet to get started.
We started by creating a list of goals for what we wanted our app to accomplish. We needed to make sure it not only met the requirements of the hackathon but also to provide a solution to the problem they posed.
1. Create an easy to use app for postpartum mothers.
2. Educate users on high-risk symptoms.
3. Mothers should not have to spend more than a minute in the app.
We began with focusing on how to get as much symptom information out of mothers as possible. Our first idea was to have mothers fill out a daily questionnaire. There would be five basic questions that the mothers would have to answer daily. Based on how they answer those five questions there would be follow up questions. It became very clear that if we continued down this route the questionnaire could easily become much longer than what is manageable for the mothers. One of our goals was to make sure the app would be as least time consuming as possible. The new mothers won't have much time in their day to sit on an app for more than a couple of minutes.
1. From the moment mothers leave the hospital to day 75 they are the most vulnerable for health problems related to their pregnancy.
2. Most of the time mothers do not know when a symptom they are experiencing is a high-risk symptom that is a sign of a potential problem.
3. In most cases the mothers go too late to the hospital or too late to call their doctor about what they have been feeling - this leads to death in extreme cases (often the case in NJ).
4. New mothers are often too concerned with their new born babies to worry about themselves.
5. They do not have much time in their day to sit around on an app.
6. They do not know what the high-risk symptoms are, or forget about them.
7. Lower income mothers are the most at risk for health problems and death.
After doing a more in depth user research and analysis we pivoted into a different direction. A mother might not have the time to sit on an app for more than a couple minutes a day so we needed to figure out how they can input data on how they are feeling and what kind of symptoms they have been experiencing without taking too much of their time. To solve this we came up with a voice entry method.
We decided to start by really focusing on the simplicity of the app. The first screen is where mothers can record their entries. This action is as simple as clicking the "Record" button to start the log and then clicking "Stop" to end it. No additional steps are needed for this version of 'data entry'. The mothers are able to talk into the phone for however long they would like. No restrictions are set to honor the time a mother may have in her day.
For this version there is only one feature on this screen. The "Prompt of the day" is to help guide mothers in their entries. A helpful tip if they don't know what to talk about and a helpful nudge for the information we would need to know to help with symptom recognition.
Additional features for the future:
- Stop and Start options
- Play back of entries
- Display of the length of the entry
After a log is entered, we use Wit.AI to recognize the possible symptoms. The symptoms are then picked out and listed for the mothers to see. The symptoms that they mention will also be ranked by severity. When high-risk symptoms are expressed the app will prompt the mother to call her doctor or 911 (depending on the individual's situation and specific symptoms). The lower-risk symptoms will be marked to draw attention to and the symptoms that are not of any immediate concern would have no flag- simply listed under the symptom chart. Additionally in an effort to make the app more informative and educational for the mothers; the flagged symptoms will explain what potential health problem they can be at risk for.
For this version there are three types of flags a symptom can be labelled. Due to the complexity of certain symptoms and their related health risks these are the tentative flags. More in depth research needs to be done to provide a better flagging system.
All entries are saved so that the mother is able to go through all the symptoms she had since entering her log entries. Also this can be useful for mothers when they go in to see their doctor, rather than trying to recall which days they had certain symptoms, they will all be available and organized by date for them.