Monday, November 14, 2011

Serious Games in Healhcare

We had a session on serious gaming at the UMCG. Below a short update.

There are three categories of users of serious gaming in healthcare:
  • patients
  • healthcare professionals
  • researchers
Each of theses categories have their own interest, and different applications are surfacing that can be applied.

For patients, serious gaming can be used to inform, distract or motivate. An example for distraction is snow world, in which patient with severe burning are playing snow games during treatment, which has a beneficial effect and reduces the pain during this treatment. The re-mission game for children who are cancer patients improved their therapy loyalty.


Examples of serious gaming for healthcare professionals are training games for minimally invasive surgery and teamtraining (e.g. burn center)

In the area of research, foldit is a prominent example in which gamers have helped (crowdsourcing) to determine protein structures to help medical research (

Looks like serious gaming is really entering the healthcare enterprise at all levels and some good examples are shown. However, serious gaming should not be a goal in itself. It is important that a serious game really addresses an issue that could not be addressed otherwise or really has an impact on treatment effectiveness and/or quality.

For more information on serious gaming visit (in Dutch!)

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