Social Information as a Means to Enhance Engagement in Citizen Science-Based Telerehabilitation

Shinnosuke Nakayama, Tyrone J. Tolbert, Oded Nov, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advancements in computer-mediated exercise put forward the feasibility of telerehabilitation, but it remains a challenge to retain patients' engagement in exercises. Building on our previous study demonstrating enhanced engagement in citizen science through social information about others' contributions, we propose a novel framework for effective telerehabilitation that integrates citizen science and social information into physical exercise. We hypothesized that social information about others' contributions would augment engagement in physical activity by encouraging people to invest more effort toward discovery of novel information in a citizen science context. We recruited healthy participants to monitor the environment of a polluted canal by tagging images using a haptic device toward gathering environmental information. Along with the images, we displayed the locations of the tags created by the previous participants. We found that participants increased both the amount and duration of physical activity when presented with a larger number of the previous tags. Further, they increased the diversity of tagged objects by avoiding the locations tagged by the previous participants, thereby generating richer information about the environment. Our results suggest that social information is a viable means to augment engagement in rehabilitation exercise by incentivizing the contribution to scientific activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-595
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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