Design and feasibility study of the mobile application stoptheSPread

Matthieu Nadini, Samuel Richmond, Jiayi Huang, Alessandro Rizzo, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The emergence of recent disease outbreaks calls for the design of new educational games aimed at increasing awareness in disease prevention. This article presents StopTheSpread, an educational mobile application that seeks to improve awareness about the best practices to prevent the spreading of seasonal flu in the general public. StopTheSpread integrates concepts in network science and epidemiology, within a freely available mobile application that provides a unique learning experience for free-choice learners about flu prevention. StopTheSpread teaches users basic concepts about flu prevention, within a series of games of increasing difficulty that maintain user engagement and offers a user-friendly design. StopTheSpread provides a summary of the best practices to prevent flu spreading according to the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, while connecting users to citizen science projects aimed at worldwide flu tracking. Through Facebook, Twitter, and email we reached volunteers during the COVID-19 confinement, to conduct an online feasibility study, toward assessing learning outcome in playing with our mobile application. Our results indicate that the use of StopTheSpread increased by 20% the awareness about the spreading mechanism of flu, compared with the baseline population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172105-172122
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2020


  • Education
  • Flu prevention
  • General public
  • Informal learning
  • Public health
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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