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Assistant Professor Eric Kwon wins Best Paper Award in the Digital Healthcare track at ICIS 2020

Published on: 21-Dec-2020

Assistant Professor Eric Kwon's co-authored paper “Walk for Whom? The Effectiveness of Egoistic and Philanthropic Incentive Designs for Mobile Health Interventions” was awarded the Best Paper award in the Information Systems (IS) in Healthcare track at the 2020 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), the most prestigious annual international conference for academics and research-oriented practitioners in the area of IS. The paper investigated the optimal design of financial incentives for health behaviour in the context of mobile health apps.

Thanks to the advancement in mobile technologies, particularly in behavioral tracking, financial incentives has become the most popular mode of encouraging individual health behaviour. The research team showed how the design factors – scheme, reward, requirement – of financial health incentives interacted with one another and determined the incentive effectiveness. To this end, they conducted a randomised field experiment in collaboration with one of the largest mobile health app providers in South Korea.

The results demonstrated that, on average, egoistic incentives lead to better health behaviour compared to philanthropic ones. In addition, for egoistic incentives, offering a high reward is more effective than imposing a low requirement. However, philanthropic incentives tell a completely different story. For philanthropic incentives, imposing a low requirement is more effective than offering a high reward. These results collectively call for careful consideration of a financial health incentive's design factors depending on its purpose, target and budget.

Hyeokkoo Eric Kwon 2.jpgAssistant Professor Kwon shared, “I really appreciate the strong support for my research from the department, school, and university. I am delighted and honoured by the award as it represents recognition for my research by academic colleagues in digital healthcare.

Through a series of research projects, I have been working on improving the effectiveness of mobile health interventions by using financial incentives, artificial intelligence (AI), message framing, and collaboration with various non-health apps. I believe this work has great practical potential to improve the cost-effectiveness of mobile health interventions with financial incentives. I also hope this work helps with the effective use of mobile technologies for public health.”

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