Empathic Avatars in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Co-designed mHealth Artifact for Stroke Survivors

  • Hussain M. Aljaroodi
  • Marc T. P. Adam
  • Raymond Chiong
  • David J. Cornforth
  • Mario Minichiello
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10243)


Stroke is the second highest cause of death and disability worldwide. While rehabilitation programs are intended to support stroke survivors, and promote recovery after they leave the hospital, current rehabilitation programs typically provide only static written instructions and lack the ability to keep them engaged with the program. In this design science research paper, we present an mHealth artifact that builds on behavior change theory to increase stroke survivors’ engagement in rehabilitation programs. We employed a co-design methodology to identify design requirements for the stroke rehabilitation mHealth artifact, addressing stroke survivors’ needs and incorporating expertise of healthcare providers. Guided by these requirements, we developed design principles for the artifact pertaining to visual assets that are essential in immersing users in the design. We carried out a two-stage development process by having workshops and interviews with experts. Following this, a prototype was developed and evaluated in a series of workshops with multiple stakeholders.


Co-design Empathic avatars mHealth Stroke rehabilitation 



The first author would like to acknowledge the full scholarship from the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to study a PhD degree in Information Systems at the University of Newcastle, Australia. We thank John Attia and Mark Roxburgh for their valuable advice in the design of the Regain app. We would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback and suggestions, which assisted in improving the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hussain M. Aljaroodi
    • 1
  • Marc T. P. Adam
    • 1
  • Raymond Chiong
    • 1
  • David J. Cornforth
    • 1
  • Mario Minichiello
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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