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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 402;

Design and Evaluation of a Pervasive Coaching and Gamification Platform for Young Diabetes Patients

Human Media Interaction, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Centre for Innovative Research across the Life Course, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, CV1 5FB Coventry, UK
Gelderse Vallei Hospital, P.O. Box 9025, 6710 HN Ede, The Netherlands
School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics, Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing, Coventry University, CV1 5FB Coventry, UK
Grifo multimedia Srl, Via Bruno Zaccaro, 19-70126 Bari, Italy
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Op den Akker, R.; Klaassen, R.; Kim C.M. Bul, Kato, P.; van der Berg, G.J.; Di Bitonto, P. Let them play: Experiences in the wild with a gamification and coaching system for young diabetes patients. In Proceedings of the Health-i-Coach 2017, Barcelona, Spain, 23–26 May 2017.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 October 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Sensing Technologies for Personalised Coaching)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3300 KB, uploaded 30 January 2018]   |  


Self monitoring, personal goal-setting and coaching, education and social support are strategies to help patients with chronic conditions in their daily care. Various tools have been developed, e.g., mobile digital coaching systems connected with wearable sensors, serious games and patient web portals to personal health records, that aim to support patients with chronic conditions and their caregivers in realizing the ideal of self-management. We describe a platform that integrates these tools to support young patients in diabetes self-management through educational game playing, monitoring and motivational feedback. We describe the design of the platform referring to principles from healthcare, persuasive system design and serious game design. The virtual coach is a game guide that can also provide personalized feedback about the user’s daily care related activities which have value for making progress in the game world. User evaluations with patients under pediatric supervision revealed that the use of mobile technology in combination with web-based elements is feasible but some assumptions made about how users would connect to the platform were not satisfied in reality, resulting in less than optimal user experiences. We discuss challenges with suggestions for further development of integrated pervasive coaching and gamification platforms in medical practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital coaching; diabetes education; serious gaming; self-management; user evaluations digital coaching; diabetes education; serious gaming; self-management; user evaluations

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Klaassen, R.; Bul, K.C.M.; op den Akker, R.; van der Burg, G.J.; Kato, P.M.; Di Bitonto, P. Design and Evaluation of a Pervasive Coaching and Gamification Platform for Young Diabetes Patients. Sensors 2018, 18, 402.

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