Special Issue "Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018)"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information and Communications Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Nuno Dias
Website
Guest Editor
2Ai - Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal
Interests: neuroengineering; EEG; brain–machine interface
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Thomas Grechenig
Website
Guest Editor
Research Group for Industrial Software, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
Interests: software engineering; software quality management; project management; peopleware; human computer interaction; visualization and (art) design of interaction and handling
Dr. René Baranyi
Website
Guest Editor
Research Group for Industrial Software, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
Interests: serious gaming in healthcare; telemedicine; electronic health records; mobile applications in healthcare
Prof. Dr. Nuno Rodrigues
Website
Guest Editor
2Ai - Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal
Interests: software architecture; serious games; applications for health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. João L. Vilaça
Website
Guest Editor
2Ai - Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal
Interests: medical imaging; serious games; guided surgery; robotics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The overall objectives of SeGAH are the discussion and sharing of knowledge, experiences and scientific and technical results, related to state-of-the-art solutions, technologies and applications of serious games in health and healthcare, as well as the demonstration of advanced products and technologies for health. SeGAH 2018 will be held in Vienna, Austria, from 16–18 May, 2018. We believe that this Special Issue provides a chance of reaching even broader audiences to the authors of SeGAH 2018, who are therefore invited to submit extended versions of their papers to the Special Issue “Serious Games and Applications for Health” of the journal Information—Open Access Information Science Journal (I-OAISJ). However, authors interested in extending their conference papers must be aware that the final submitted manuscript must provide a minimum of 50% new content and not exceed 30% copy/paste from the proceedings paper. Each manuscript will be blind reviewed by I-OAISJ academic editors.

Dr. Nuno Dias
Prof. Dr. Thomas Grechenig
Dr. René Baranyi
Dr. Nuno Rodrigues
Prof. Dr. João L. Vilaça
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Serious games
  • Applications for health
  • Virtual reality
  • Wearable technology

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Development of a Virtual Reality-Based Game Approach for Supporting Sensory Processing Disorders Treatment
Information 2019, 10(5), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10050177 - 20 May 2019
Abstract
Serious games for health are those that are not aimed solely at entertainment, but rather at supporting health treatments. In this paper, we develop and assess the proposal of a Virtual Reality (VR) game aimed at supporting Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) treatment. SPD [...] Read more.
Serious games for health are those that are not aimed solely at entertainment, but rather at supporting health treatments. In this paper, we develop and assess the proposal of a Virtual Reality (VR) game aimed at supporting Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) treatment. SPD is a condition which affects the integration and processing of the various stimuli coming from inside and outside of the body and its treatment involves providing patients with controlled sensory stimuli. Our goal is to investigate whether a Virtual Reality game that can stimulate different sensory systems could be useful in SPD treatment. In order to do so, we have designed and developed Imaginator, a VR Roller Coaster Game connected with a Head Mounted-Display (HMD) which can be customized by therapists to adjust its stimuli to different patients’ needs in therapy. Imaginator was assessed by five occupational therapists through its use in their treatment sessions. Each therapist had the game available in their therapy environment for around 2–3 weeks. They were instructed to use the game whenever they thought it could be interesting to a patient’s treatment. After the trial period, they were interviewed about their experience in using the game and their perception of its impact in therapy sessions. Our results show that therapists in general perceived Imaginator as having a positive effects in patients’ treatment. They noticed that it was able to stimulate different senses, and they reported that in some cases it was able to help patients relax, increase their concentration and even work as an encouragement to explore similar activities in the physical world. There were a few patients who experienced some adverse reactions, such as nausea, but nothing that they felt was worrying or that could prevent the game from being used. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
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Open AccessArticle
The Design and Application of Game Rewards in Youth Addiction Care
Information 2019, 10(4), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10040126 - 06 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Different types of rewards are applied in persuasive games to encourage play persistence of its users and facilitate the achievement of desired real-world goals, such as behavioral change. Persuasive games have successfully been applied in mental healthcare and may hold potential for different [...] Read more.
Different types of rewards are applied in persuasive games to encourage play persistence of its users and facilitate the achievement of desired real-world goals, such as behavioral change. Persuasive games have successfully been applied in mental healthcare and may hold potential for different types of patients. However, we question to what extent game-based rewards are suitable in a persuasive game design for a substance dependence therapy context, as people with substance-related disorders show decreased sensitivity to natural rewards, which may result in different responses to commonly applied game rewards compared to people without substance use disorders. In a within-subject experiment with 20 substance dependent and 25 non-dependent participants, we examined whether play persistence and reward evaluation differed between the two groups. Results showed that in contrast to our expectations, substance dependent participants were more motivated by the types of rewards compared to non-substance dependent participants. Participants evaluated monetary rewards more positively than playing for virtual points or social rewards. We conclude this paper with design implications of game-based rewards in persuasive games for mental healthcare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
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Open AccessCommunication
ONYA—The Wellbeing Game: How to Use Gamification to Promote Wellbeing
Information 2019, 10(2), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10020058 - 12 Feb 2019
Abstract
The Wellbeing Game uses game design elements to promote wellbeing. Players document their daily activities in the game and categorize them to one or more of five wellbeing-related factors. The users join teams and can create team events to work together and improve [...] Read more.
The Wellbeing Game uses game design elements to promote wellbeing. Players document their daily activities in the game and categorize them to one or more of five wellbeing-related factors. The users join teams and can create team events to work together and improve their wellbeing status. The present study aims to review the application and the theoretical base of ‘The Wellbeing Game’, to adapt it to the German context, and to evaluate its health effects in different settings. Additional aims are to analyze the current state of research regarding the links between health, wellbeing, and gamification and to identify crucial game design elements that have to be implemented in the application in order to address the needs of competence, autonomy, and social relatedness according to the self-determination theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
Open AccessArticle
Implementing Mobile Games into Care Services—Service Models for Finnish and Chinese Elderly Care
Information 2019, 10(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10020055 - 08 Feb 2019
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
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Open AccessArticle
Designing and Evaluating a Virtual Patient Simulation—The Journey from Uniprofessional to Interprofessional Learning
Information 2019, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10010028 - 14 Jan 2019
Abstract
“Ready to Practice?”(R2P) is a virtual patient simulation designed for undergraduate medical and pharmacy students. After initial prototyping, R2P developed into a screen-based virtual patient (VP) simulation with an intuitive interface using photorealistic images of people and places with speech bubbles and decision [...] Read more.
“Ready to Practice?”(R2P) is a virtual patient simulation designed for undergraduate medical and pharmacy students. After initial prototyping, R2P developed into a screen-based virtual patient (VP) simulation with an intuitive interface using photorealistic images of people and places with speech bubbles and decision menus. We describe the design of the VP, findings from student experiences with the software, and the potential of VPs for interprofessional learning. We used a mixed methods study to assess students’ perceptions of the VP as a learning tool. Qualitative data were gathered using semi-structured interviews and observations, and quantitative data through the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale (RIPLS) and an evaluation questionnaire. Overall, participants showed significantly improved RIPLS scores after participation in the simulation (78.78 to 82.25, p < 0.0001), including in the Positive Professional Identify domain (p < 0.001). Students also showed significant improvement in RIPLS scores in the Teamwork and Collaboration domain when pharmacy and medical students were working together in interprofessional pairs (40.75 to 43.00, p < 0.006) but not when working alone (n.s.). Five themes emerged from interviews where participants identified specific interprofessional insights into each other’s roles and skills. Students found the VP engaging and valuable for their learning and their understanding of teamwork. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
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Open AccessArticle
Virtual Interactive Environment for Low-Cost Treatment of Mechanical Strabismus and Amblyopia
Information 2018, 9(7), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9070175 - 19 Jul 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
This study presents a technique that uses an interactive virtual environment for the rehabilitation treatment of patients with mechanical strabismus and/or amblyopia who have lost eye movement. The relevant part of this treatment is the act of forcing the two eyes to cooperate [...] Read more.
This study presents a technique that uses an interactive virtual environment for the rehabilitation treatment of patients with mechanical strabismus and/or amblyopia who have lost eye movement. The relevant part of this treatment is the act of forcing the two eyes to cooperate with each other by increasing the level of adaptation of the brain and allowing the weak eye to see again. Accordingly, the game enables both eyes to work together, providing the patient with better visual comfort and life quality. In addition, the virtual environment is attractive and has the ability to overcome specific challenges with real-time feedback, coinciding with ideal approaches for use in ocular rehabilitation. The entire game was developed with free software and the 3D environment, which is made from low-cost virtual reality glasses, as well as Google Cardboard which uses a smartphone for the display of the game. The method presented was tested in 41 male and female patients, aged 8 to 39 years, and resulted in the success of 40 patients. The method proved to be feasible and accessible as a tool for the treatment of amblyopia and strabismus. The project was registered in the Brazil platform and approved by the ethics committee of the State University of Piaui—UESPI, with the CAAE identification code: 37802114.8.0000.5209. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH 2018))
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