Digital Support for Alzheimer’s Disease Caregivers

The number of informal caregivers who are caring for family members with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is rising dramatically. These caregivers have numerous mental and physical health problems associated with the burdens of care. In this project, we are developing a digital game to increase physical activity and social connections for the AD caregivers.

Experiential Learning Games

NSF Experiential Learning This project will advance research around using health-monitoring tools, such as sensor-based physical activity trackers, to support healthy behaviors for children in low-income families. In comparison to the general population, low-income families face disproportionate barriers to wellness, such as persistent social stressors and limited environmental support for behavior change. As such, a key technical challenge is designing systems that help families learn how to overcome these barriers to physical activity. We work closely with families to target the application more directly at their needs, while adding features to support “experiential learning”—the idea that reflecting on concrete past experiences can help people develop insights that guide their future behavior. This project received 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

mHealth Systematic Review

WISH Poster There has been a proliferation of research examining how mobile health (mHealth) applications can encourage wellness. A growing focus of this work has been exploring how mHealth tools can promote healthy behaviors within vulnerable populations. We are conducting a systematic review of such research, examining the design and impact of mHealth tools for low-socioeconomic individuals, racial/ethnic minority groups, and persons with disabilities. Our findings highlight trends that can drive critically needed digital innovations in health promotion for populations that experience disproportionate barriers to wellness.

      • Stowell, E., Lyson, M., Wurth, R., Saksono, H., Jimison, H., Pavel, M., Parker, A.G. 2015. mHealth Research in Vulnerable Populations: A Systematic Review. Poster presented at the Workshop on Interactive Systems in Healthcare (WISH), CHI 2016.
      • Stowell, E., Lyson, M., Wurth, R., Saksono, H., Jimison, H., Pavel, M., Parker, A.G. 2015. mHealth Research in Vulnerable Populations: A Systematic Review. Poster presented at the Harvard Forum on Population Health Equity, 2016.

Youth Advocacy Project

This project is about designing technology tools with the aim of empowering teenagers to become health advocates to address health disparities in their communities. We have done participatory observations to understand challenges that youth advocacy organizations face.

Storytelling Technology Project


For many generations, storytelling has been used as a medium for interaction and resolidifying family values and belief. This project is exploring how storytelling technology driven by health sensor can be used for as a space for family bonding and solidifying family values in health and physical activity. While prior work in technology based physical activity intervention has been focused on visualizing and gamifying health sensor data, this work explores how child’s attitude and self-efficacy can be supported through reflection on concrete experiences.

Previous Work

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