Storywell is a smartphone app for family physical activity promotion. The system uses health sensors to track the physical activity of caregivers and their children. When a family meets their activity goals, they will receive virtual rewards in the form of children’s storybook chapters. The storybook chapters are supplemented with reflective questions to help families learn about factors that can help them to be active.

This app is part of the NSF-funded Experiential Learning Technologies for Family Fitness project.

mHealth Systematic Review

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. I co-conducted a systematic review of such research, examining the design and impact of mHealth tools for low-socioeconomic individuals and racial/ethnic minority groups. Our corpus consisted of 83 papers. Our analysis provides a corpus overview of the research methodology, mHealth system design and implementation, the populations involved in intervention design and evaluation, and promising mHealth intervention techniques. We discuss topics including the impact of the theoretical basis on interventions design, the implications of underreported and underrepresented study populations, and the barriers to and facilitators of mHealth interventions. Findings from this review highlight trends that can drive critically needed digital innovations in health promotion for populations that experience disproportionate barriers to wellness.


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, I led the development of Go&Grow, a digital game to increase physical activity and social connections among informal caregivers of family members with AD.

  • Go&Grow: An Evaluation of a Pervasive Social Exergame for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia
    Xin Yao Lin, Herman Saksono, Elizabeth Stowell, Margie Lachman, Carmen Castaneda-Sceppa, Andrea G. Parker. 2020. Go&Grow: An Evaluation of a Pervasive Social Exergame for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia. In Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 4, CSCW 2, Article 151 (October 2020).


Spaceship Launch

Sedentary living is one major contributing factor to childhood obesity; as such, interventions that help young children increase their physical activity levels are needed. Involving parents in these interventions is critical, given parents’ influence on children’s physical activity environments and the powerful impact they have as role models. In this project, I developed Spaceship Launch, a gamified collaborative fitness app to encourage physical activity within the family unit, that is, in both parents and young children.