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Information 2019, 10(2), 55;

Implementing Mobile Games into Care Services—Service Models for Finnish and Chinese Elderly Care

Faculty of Technology, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, 28130 Pori, Finland
Department of Informatics, Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), University of Beira Interior, 6201-001 Covilhã, Portugal
School of Nursing, Changzhou University, Changzhou 213164, China
Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University, 33720 Tampere, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
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The purpose of this paper was to create service models for cognitively stimulating mobile games and incorporate them into Finnish and Chinese elderly care. The implementation involved the use of two different mobile games as part of the everyday lives of older adults in care homes in Finland (3 months) and China (6 months). Although a large number of publications examine serious games in elderly care, there are rather few publications related to the practical implementation within the elderly care processes. In general, rehabilitation orientated games should incorporate entertainment (motivation) and relevant therapeutic content (rehabilitation) in order to be effective. Regardless of the game design, successful implementation of the games in elderly care is paramount to benefit the end user. In this paper, two mobile games were investigated as a case study. To investigate the therapeutic content of the games, the game outcomes (game scores and time stamps) were automatically recorded to facilitate analysis of the participant’s progress during the trial. To investigate motivation, user feedback was collected through observation of the game trials and by interviewing the nursing staff and the participants (test group). The gaming service implementation was designed in collaboration with the nursing staff and researchers, according to an experimentation-driven approach, in which the service model ideas were tested by the professionals before piloting. In both countries, the players and the nursing staff found the games showed potential as self-managed rehabilitation tools. Other significant effects of gameplay were enhanced recreation and self-managed activity level. Despite cultural differences, the gaming experience was amazingly similar and improvements in game scores were also observed during the trial in both countries. The biggest difference between the pilots was the implementation process, which led to the development of two different service models that are reported in this paper. In Finland, the games were embedded into the care practices and the nursing staff were responsible for the piloting. In China, the games were independent of the care process and an external service provider (the researcher) managed the piloting. The findings imply that service design in different cultures should be carefully considered when implementing new digital services. View Full-Text
Keywords: cultural comparison; serious games; service design; older adults; recreation; self-managed rehabilitation cultural comparison; serious games; service design; older adults; recreation; self-managed rehabilitation

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Merilampi, S.; Koivisto, A.; Leino, M.; Pombo, N.; Felizardo, V.; Lu, J.; Poberznik, A.; Virkki, J. Implementing Mobile Games into Care Services—Service Models for Finnish and Chinese Elderly Care. Information 2019, 10, 55.

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