DEVELOPMENTS IN HEALTHCARE
In the coming years major changes in health care are in the pipeline. The health care system is set for a number of challenges: an aging population, more sophisticated and therefore more expensive therapies, the impact of changing consumption patterns on human health and the ever more demanding patient.
The result is that drastic measures are needed in the areas of accessibility, quality and affordability. End users will have more responsibility (self-management) and there will be more efforts needed for smart ICT solutions and more staff should be trained. Healthcare should become more efficient and effective. Serious games can make a contribution to this. They can be put to use in several areas:
- educating and informing the patient, e.g. learning to cope with a disorder and promoting social cohesion among patients
- behavioural changes, e.g. adjusting dietary patterns and increasing medicine commitment
- therapy, both mental as well as physical and pain control
- training and education of personnel, e.g. training protocols and communication with patients
Serious Health Games
Currently, serious games are already being used successfully in various areas, but supply is still limited. There is a lot of research work being conducted at various Dutch and foreign universities and the first results are very promising.
Serious games and simulations can make complex processes transparent and exciting and are, by their very nature, more effective than traditional teaching methods. Man has natural learning mechanisms that enable him to process and store large amounts of information during his lifetime. Serious games make use of this. Learning by doing is one of the most effective ways of learning and serious games are, by definition, a form of learning by doing. In addition, serious games offer a huge distribution advantage. A game can reach an infinite number of people without extra costs. It can contain the knowledge of the world’s best experts and make this available to everyone. On top of this, a well-designed game is adaptive and adapts itself to the user so that each can learn at their own level and in their own way.
But the most important thing is that games are highly motivational, stimulating in order to learn, to understand, to practice and to change. Ranj has realized a number of games in health care: GRIP, a game for children who have just been diagnosed with diabetes 1. The Great Flu, an awareness game about the combatting and especially prevention of a pandemic. DIVO's buzz, an educational game about the dangers of addiction. Juf in a Box (Teacher in a Box), a game for young children to train their fine motor skills in writing, based on the Neuromotor Task Training.