A Family Health App: Engaging Children to Manage Wellness of Adults

Ntwa A. Katule, Melissa Densmore, Ulrike Rivett
The pandemic of lifestyle-related chronic diseases has led to an advent of personal health informatics, with the goal of persuading individuals to adopt healthful lifestyles. Such systems implement various motivational strategies to promote ongoing use. Existing initiatives to design such systems focus on engaging only the beneficiary of information derived from those systems. In this study, we explored how one can use gamification to motivate ongoing usage of such systems in the context of intermediated technology use. We studied the effect of gamification in motivating young family members to assist adults who might be less conversant or intimidated with such a technology. We compared two designs of a mobile wellness application of which one prototype is gamified and the other one is not gamified. Our findings suggest that virtual rewards can enhance usage of such systems through intermediary users. We highlight some of the design implications in order to foster perceived enjoyment in using such a system.