Mijn Medicijn - Zwangerschap
Supporting pregnant women in making decisions about the use of medicines during pregnancy
Author: Noëlle Lugtenburg (2019)
Supervisory team: Marijke Melles (mentor), Bob Groeneveld (graduation committee),
Inge Zomerdijk (graduation committee), Christianne de Groot (graduation committee)
Partners: Medicines Evaluation Board, Amsterdam UMC, TU Delft
This graduation project is performed for the Dutch Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) in collaboration with the Amsterdam UMC, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The goal was to “design a product-service system, including a digital application that informs pregnant women about the use of medicines during pregnancy and allows them to make an informed decision and feel confident to use a medicine during pregnancy”.
Literature research has shown that pregnant women often overestimate the risks associated with medicines and therefore do not take their medicines as prescribed. Current information sources usually show reluctance towards the use of medicines during pregnancy, stress the risks and lack the benefits.
User research has shown that pregnant women easily start to doubt whether medicine, advised by their gynaecologist, is really safe due to negative information or because they do not clearly remember the benefits. As a result, they seek confirmation and reassurance by searching information via Google or in the patient leaflet, finding information that increases their concerns (view the patient journey map for details).
‘Mijn Medicijn – Zwangerschap’
‘Mijn Medicijn – Zwangerschap’ is an application that pregnant women can consult at any time when they are in doubt of the safety of their medicine. It provides balanced and transparent information about both the potential risks and the benefits of medicines for the mother and unborn child, creating understanding and confidence.
The app also shows what medicines can or should not be used during pregnancy for a certain complaint or condition. The gynaecologist plays an important role in the design as well, by providing an information flyer and stimulating the patient to use the app and explaining the relevance of the medicine by using the same benefit-risk information in a desktop version of the app.
An evaluation study with an interactive prototype showed that pregnant women highly value the product service system in general, as well as the patient-friendly information, which would support them in making decisions about medication use.