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About Health Games

Playing health – health games

The idea behind Serious Games is that games in many contexts can be used for something other than entertainment. Serious Games is e.g. a games that is about learning, getting a better life, health issues etc. These games can help in changing the players’ perception of an area, broaden their understanding and show the connection between different things.

“Health Games” – Purpose and partners

As a part of Serious Games the project “Health Games” has occurred. “Health Games” is a health project in collaboration with 4 partners:

  • Odense University Hospital
  • Academy of higher professional education Lillebælt
  • Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein (Campus Kiel)
  • Fachhochschule Kiel.

The project in its entirety is about improving communication with patients, advance rehabilitation and simulate realistic situations and body functions through games. At a hospital level, game technology can furthermore be used for diagnostics, rehabilitation, information, learning and care.

The collaboration across the Danish-German boarder categorized the project as an INTEREG-project. This means that the project is financially supported by EU. The EU support to INTERREG-projects ensures a better integration in EU countries and that national boarders do not prevent an equilibrium growth.

The project comprises 4 different topics:

1. Screening the international environment for serious games in health care

Serious Games in health care take a close partnership between companies with game/IT competencies and actors with thorough clinical experience.

We will map existing national and international health game applications and identify best practice in collaboration between game/IT industry and clinical domains – answering the question: How do we utilize clinical knowledge and experience

2. Create greater awareness – promoting best practice for hospitals and the industry

By hosting seminars and workshop and collection comments and ideas from these, we aim at connecting partners within the game industry and clinical areas. By creating awareness to the work with games in clinical context among game developers and the IT-industry we hope to achieve great results.

3. Promoting business opportunities through innovative learning and match making - between game industry – hospitals

On the basis of international best practice we will set up master classes targeting SME’s in gaming, IT and robotics and within different clinical domains in order to develop awareness of game technologies as tools for setting up a diagnose, for rehabilitation and for communication - and innovative match making master classes across industry and hospitals targeting the identification of business projects.

4. Prototyping – developing business cases for health games

The project has a direct ambition to create 2 – 4 showcases – health game prototypes with business potential.

In collaboration between specific clinical domains at OUH and UK S-H, industrial partners and students at regional business schools the project will establish health game applications and draw a roadmap for these application to become tested in a clinical environment and tested in a commercial set up.

Schleswig-K.E.R.N and Region of Southern Denmark is located in the periphery of their respective countries. Their economic importance is therefore relatively week. However they have a large tourism and recreational potential which means they are desired regions for retirement and medical treatment of the more wealthy citizens in both countries. Since the demographic development of the aging population is increasing and improvements within technology continues, the demand for health care with high standard will increase. It is important to develop the health care area in these regions in order to keep the citizens from seeking other places.

Game technology can be used widely at hospital level

“Health Games” takes is part in above development through various project – these shows that game technology is something that can be used very widely at hospital level.

These projects include a “USB-project” where the intention is to replace booklets and other paper material for patients with a USB-stick. Initially the project is tested on the maternity ward on Odense University Hospital. Pregnant women records, information etc. are therefore placed on a USB-stick rather than in paper format and can be used via computer.

Applications for mobile phones, where it is possible for the patient to be reminded of appointments at the hospital, getting assigned a parking space etc. is another great idea within the project.

Regarding the rehabilitation project, games will be expressed in the rehabilitation of patients where e.g. Nintendo Wii and other similar technology is used in order to make the rehabilitation becomes more fun and a bit different.

During treatment you also see an increased computer-controlled approach. Many operations can be performed by robots etc. Connecting the social universe “Second Life” the idea is to help collect feedback from the clinical staff regarding the hospital’s physical layout.  This is especially important in Odense where a new hospital is to be built within the next 10-12 years.

A final project as part of “Health Games” is the digital tool for better nutrition.  “Play you way to better meals”. The idea behind this project is to teach patients how to assemble healthy and nutritious meals which are adjusted to the disease they suffer from – this combined with clinical treatment. Many patients do not correct or enough. This project can help the patients back on the right track.

Timeline and evaluation

“Health Games” runs over a time period from April 2011 to March 2013. The Project consists of 6 work packages which all have their individual purposes and milestones. Some work packages are accomplished by one or more partners, while other work packages are accomplished together by all 4 partners in the project.

The project will be completed with a final report which will be prepared from April 1, 2013 to May 31, 2013. The project also includes an evaluation period. This will among others focus on the collaboration process between the two hospital partners in the project. In addition we will try to link an organization on the project, which can act as a sparring partner for the partners in the project. This as a way to keep orientated on how the project is running and also what the content is. Furthermore there will be an evaluation of the participants in the different seminars and workshops, which have been hosted in connection with the project.

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Milestone plan

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