Designing Virtual Coaching Solutions: Design and Evaluation of a Digital Health Intervention for Rehabilitation

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Especially older persons are prone to disabilities and chronic diseases. These chronic conditions pose a worldwide challenge, leading to deteriorating health, economic strain, loss of life, and a decline in the quality of life (QoL). Therefore, healthcare institutions seek to enhance their strategies for disease prevention and management to uphold the well-being of the community. This leads to the need to regain independence and improve QoL to properly rehabilitate the patients. Virtual Coaches (VCs) in the form of Embodied Conversational Agents are seen as a relevant digital intervention to support the continuity of care. The paper at hand reports on a Design Science Research project about implementing a VC solution to support older patients' home rehabilitation. The study underpins four pivotal design principles: Adaptivity, Coaching Strategy, Multi-user Interface, and Sustainable Infrastructure. The final artifact was tested with 80 patients which were supported in continuing their inpatient rehabilitation at home by using a VC. The evaluation shows both positive results for usability and acceptance of the intervention for four different use cases and a positive impact on the QoL. Given the comprehensive clinical evaluation, the system represents a safe and appealing solution for ensuring the continuity of medical rehabilitation care and the access to personalized cognitive and motor function treatments.


Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness & Information Systems Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2024

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0003-2065-8523/work/160950225
ORCID /0000-0002-6513-9017/work/160953576
Mendeley 71421968-9967-3773-9bd2-0120171cee81
Scopus 85194576373