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Virtual Center


Time Period: July 2021 – December 2021

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Public officials at PAHO-affiliated Ministries of Health needed tools to identify and respond to misinformation quickly, before its rapid spread through the networks of social media.


WHO/PAHO tasked the Illinois School of Information Sciences to create a proof-of-concept for an Anti-Infodemic Virtual Center, a set of online tools to classify, detect and respond to new information shared through social media.


Our design strategies helped synthesize ideas across multiple disciplines into a webpage tool for public officials. We presented data on AI-detected misinformation in a concise quick-glance communication style. We also worked alongside our collaborators to translate their newly developed response strategies into actionable steps that could be completed on the website. Additionally, we developed visuals and interactive tools to present newly developed conceptual frameworks on misinformation.


With the COVID-19 pandemic came massive amounts of information, much of which can be false or misleading.

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VA Participants

Lisa Gatzke,  Lead UIX Designer, VA Group

[Contributions] Information Design, UX/UI Design


Jessica Saw, MD, PhD, Research Scientist, VA Group
        [Contributions] Medicine/Healthcare

Illinois Participants

Ian Brooks, PhD, Research Scientist, Illinois School of Information Sciences, WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center on Information Systems for Health

[Contributions] Information Sciences

Kate McDowell, PhD, Associate Professor, Illinois School of Information Sciences
         [Contributions] Storytelling, Information Sciences

PAHO Participants

Miguel Betancourt, MD, MSc, DrPH, Consultant, PAHO

[Contributions] Public Health, Medicine / Healthcare


Felipe Mejia-Medina, Consultant, PAHO
         [Contributions] Global health, Health Data, Information Systems

Ailin Tomio, MA, Consultant, PAHO
         [Contributions] Applied Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Economics


Funding agency:
Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization

Government / Private Sector / Academic:
Government and Academic

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