The goal of the research project PathMate2 is to help support obese children, their parents and their physicians with modern technology in creating a healthier lifestyle. Computer scientists, engineers and medical experts are collaborating in this interdisciplinary project in order to develop an information system which will allow obese children and their physicians to stay in touch. Some of the good intentions and plans made during on-site consultations are forgotten soon thereafter. It is therefore especially important that obese children make the right decisions in their lifestyle and diet in their everyday life. With the help of PathMate2, physicians will be able to analyze the data of their patients in real time, provide them with tips or challenges tailored to their needs, and thus motivate them to make healthier choices.

Motivation
In Switzerland, one out of five children remain overweight or obese and novel methods are needed to control the epidemic. Severe co-morbidities appear already during childhood, track into adulthood obesity in more than 75% and contribute to a drastic increase in public health costs due to overweight and obesity-related co-morbidities. Multi-professional programs combining physical activity, nutritional and behavioral components have positive effects on therapy outcomes. However, these interventions are cost-intensive and time-consuming for both health providers and overweight children and their parents, in particular, those living in rural regions.
Objective
Building upon past experience and preliminary results of PathMate1 with a limited number of children and teenagers, the follow-up project PathMate2 has the following objectives: * To establish evidence-based obesity interventions that move the focus from on-site consultations in expensive and highly specialized obesity centers to appealing, child-friendly IT-mediated low-threshold interventions under the supervision of general practitioners and obesity expert teams; * To automatically capture and process obesity-related biosignals by smart sensors and using results for immediate feedback for patients, medical personnel, and others based on permissions and communication patterns; * To design evidence-based self-regulation interventions for children and teenagers in their everyday life by coupling Neuro-Information-System services with Smart Health Sensors.
The goals of the project are not only to improve the personal situation of the children and to lower the costs in health care in general. It is the explicit objective of the research team to make a significant contribution in the improvement of the quality of information systems in healthcare.

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Publications

Kowatsch, T., Nißen, M.K., Shih, I., Rüegger, D., Volland, D., Filler, A., Künzler, F., Barata, F., Haug, S., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Heldt, K., Gindrat, P., Farpour-Lambert, N., l’Allemand, D. (2017) Text-based Healthcare Chatbots Supporting Patient and Health Professional Teams: Preliminary Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial on Childhood Obesity, Persuasive Embodied Agents for Behavior Change (PEACH 2017) Workshop, co-located with the 17th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2017), Stockholm, Sweden. PDF
Kowatsch, T., Volland, D., Shih, I., Rüegger, D., Künzler, F., Barata, F., Filler, A., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Heldt, K., Gindrat, P., Farpour-Lambert, N., l’Allemand, D. (2017) Design and Evaluation of a Mobile Chat App for the Open Source Behavioral Health Intervention Platform MobileCoach, In: Maedche A., vom Brocke J., Hevner A. (eds) Designing the Digital Transformation. DESRIST 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10243. Springer: Berlin; Germany, 485-489. (Paper-PDF | Poster-PDF | Slide-PDF | Screencast)
Durrer, D., Kowatsch, T., l’Allemand, D., Büchter, D., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Maass, W., Schutz, Y. (2017) Mobile Health Information System Tailored for Obesity Prevention and Treatment (PathMate) in Teenagers, 8th Fribourg Obesity Research Conference (FORC-2015) Abstracts, Obesity Reviews 18 (Suppl. 1), p. 88 (PDF).
Büchter, D., Kowatsch, T., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., Wiegand, D., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Durrer, D., Schutz, Y., Maass, W., Laimbacher, J., l’Allemand, D. (2017) Does a Health Information Technology System developed by Children and their Parents improve Obesity Therapy? 8th Fribourg Obesity Research Conference (FORC-2015) Abstracts, Obesity Reviews 18 (Suppl. 1), p. 88 (PDF).
Shih, I., Kowatsch, T., Tinschert, P., Barata, F., Nißen, M.K. (2016) Towards The Design of a Smartphone-Based Biofeedback Breathing Training: Identifying Diaphragmatic Breathing Patterns from a Smartphone’s Microphone, Proc. of the 10th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS), Paphos, Cyprus (PDF).
Kowatsch, T., Büchter, D., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Xu, R., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., Wiegand, D., l’Allemand, D., Maass, W. (2015) Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Mobile Application for Obesity Experts and Children Teams, Obesity Reviews 16 (S1): Poster Abstracts from the 7th Fribourg Obesity Research Conference (FORC-2013) – Pathways from dieting to weight regain, to obesity and to the metabolic syndrome, p. 96. (PDF)
Xu, R., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Kowatsch, T., Michahelles, F., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., l’Allemand, D., Maass, W. (2014) Tell Me What to Eat – Design and Evaluation of a Mobile Companion Helping Obese Children and their Parents to Plan Nutrition Intake, in: Ambient Intelligence – European Conference, AmI 2014, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, November 11-13, 2014. Revised Selected Papers, E. Aarts, B. de Ruyter, P. Markopoulos, E. van Loenen, R. Wichert, B. Schouten, J. Terken, R. Van Kranenburg, E. Den Ouden and G. O’Hare (eds.), Springer, Berlin, Germany, pp. 100-113. (PDF).
Büchter, D., Kowatsch, T., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., Wiegand, D., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Maass, W., l’Allemand, D., Laimbacher, J. (2014) Home Support of Obese Children and Adolescents by Means of Health Information Technology System: A Pilot Study for a Psychosomatic Based Therapy Concept, Supplement Pediatrics. Swiss Medical Weekly, 144(Suppl 203), p. 17. ***foederatio Paedo medico rum helveticorum (fPmh) Award of the Annual Congress 2014***(PDF)
Büchter, D., Kowatsch, T., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Schutz, Y., l’Allemand, D., Maass, W., Laimbacher, J. (2014) A Longitudinal Study Assessing an IT-supported Neurological Feedback in Obesity Intervention for Children and Adolescents Emotional Self Control, Supplement Pediatrics, Swiss Medical Weekly, 144(Suppl 203), p. 21. (PDF)
Büchter, D., Kowatsch, T., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Schutz, Y., l’Allemand, D., Maass, W., Laimbacher, J. (2014) A Longitudinal Study Assessing an IT-supported Neurological Feedback in Obesity Intervention for Children and Adolescents Emotional Self Control (Poster), Annual Congress of the foederatio Paedo medico rum helveticorum (fPmh), Bern, Switzerland. (PDF)
Kowatsch, T., Maass, W., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Xu, R., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., Wiegand, D., Durrer, D., Schutz, Y., l’Allemand, D. (2014) Design of a Health Information System Enhancing the Performance of Obesity Expert and Children Teams, European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Tel Aviv, Israel. (PDF)
Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Kowatsch, T., Büchter, D., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., Wiegand, D., Durrer, D., l’Allemand, D., Schutz, Y., Maass, W. (2014) Health Information System for Obesity Prevention and Treatment of Children and Adolescents, European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Tel Aviv, Israel. (PDF)
Maass, W. (2013) PathMate: Effects of Ubiquitous Healthcare Information Systems on Performance of Obesity Expert and Teenager Teams, Poster Presentation at the Swiss Inter- and Transdisciplinarity Day. Bern, Switzerland, 2013. (PDF)
Kowatsch, T., Büchter, D., Pletikosa Cvijikj, I., Xu, R., Brogle, B., Dintheer, A., Wiegand, D., l’Allemand, D., Maass, W. (2013) Design and Preliminary Evaluation of a Mobile Application for Obesity Experts and Children Teams, Poster presented at the 7th Fribourg Obesity Research Conference (FORC-2013) – Pathways from Dieting to Weight Regain, to Obesity & to Metabolic Syndrome, Fribourg, Switzerland. (PDF)
Kowatsch, T., Maass, W. (2013) Towards Empirically Validated Ubiquitous Information Systems: Results from a Pretest and Three Empirical Studies, 21th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Utrecht, The Netherlands. (PDF)
Brogle, B. (2012) Mit «PathMate» neue Wege finden – Technologie-System gegen Übergewicht – für gesunden Lebensstil, Ostschweizer Kinderspital Fokus 2, S. 22 (PDF)
Press release, June 2012 (PDF)
Maass, W., and Varshney, W., (2012) Design and Evaluation of Ubiquitous Information Systems and Use in Healthcare, Decision Support Systems (54:1), 597-609.
Maass, W., Kowatsch, T., Janzen, S., Filler, A., (2012) Applying Situation-Service Fit to Physical Environments Enhanced by Ubiquitous Information Systems, 20th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2012), Barcelona, Spain. (PDF)
Maass, W., Storey, V. C., Kowatsch, T. (2011) Effects of External Conceptual Models and Verbal Explanations On Shared Understanding in Small Groups, Conceptual Modeling, ER 2011, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 92-103. (PDF)
Janzen, S., Kowatsch, T. & Maass, W. (2010) A Methodology for Content-Centered Design of Ambient Environments, DESRIST 2010: Global Perspectives on Design Science Research, St. Gallen, Switzerland. (PDF)

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