BEAT IT

A game changer app to help cancer patients to participate in their healthcare decisions

HOW TO HELP YOUNG CANCER PATIENTS

FEEL MORE EMPOWERED?

HOW CAN UX DESIGN AND GAMIFICATION

ENCOURAGE AND EDUCATE YOUNG PATIENTS WITH CANCER

TO PARTICIPATE IN THEIR HEALTHCARE DECISIONS?

 

While I was back home in Tehran, Iran, I discovered the Mahak Institute, which is an NGO that is dedicated to supporting the parents of children suffering from cancer. The Institute’s goal is to provide the parents of these children with a new manner of focusing on their child’s treatments, with the hope of turning an emotional, grim situation into a more empowering and enjoyable experience. "BEAT IT" was an inspiration from Mahak NGO's goals.

"BEAT IT" was my internship project for the Master's Degree in Industrial Design at Design School Kolding in collaboration with Vejle Hospital. My goal was to develop a gamified strategy that would merge the patient and hospital parties that of the doctor-patient relationship, into a closer knit one that will allow for the patient to be empowered in their treatment, instead of feeling lost and hopeless.

"BEAT IT" is a game for supporting shared decision making in diagnostic and treatment decisions for cancer patients. 

 

BACKGROUND

The Challenge

There are millions of people in the world who are suffering from cancer every day.

In adolescence and early adulthood (AYA) aged 15-39, participation in medical decisions presents unique challenges to patients, their family members, and healthcare providers.

Games can provide cancer support by giving players a sense of power and control and encouraging treatment adherence.

The Issue

Shared decision-making (SDM) enables patients to be active participants in their care and make informed choices. SDM helps patients understand what is known and not known about the health outcomes that matter to them. 

Effectively engaging patients in their care are essential to improve health outcomes, improve satisfaction with the care experience, reduce costs, and even benefit the clinician experience. 

Shared decision-making between providers and patients has been shown to improve health outcomes. 

The People

The AYA oncology population is the 15–39 age range into three age cohorts that is defined as early young adulthood (15–18 years old), young adulthood (19–24), and late young adulthood (25–39). 

Adolescents and young adults with cancer face decisions that have both short- and long-term consequences. They are the Internet and Smartphone generation. Patient education programs should focus on improving patients’ confidence in using online resources so they can better evaluate online information for cancer care.  

 

 

STRATEGY

The Creative Challenge

The main challenge was to develop a gamified strategy that would merge the young patients and hospital parties of the doctor-patient relationship, into a closer knit one that will allow for the patients to be empowered in their treatment, instead of feeling lost, confused and hopeless.

The Goal

To use game mechanics and gamification reward systems to improve treatment adherence and boost self-confidence in cancer patients and their family members who are involved in their treatment.

The overall goal of this experience is to empower patients to remain with their treatments by means of increasing self-confidence, encouraging positive thoughts and feelings and modifying patients’ attitudes toward chemo-, radio- and hormone- therapy, as well as the myriad other treatments for different stages of breast cancer. 

The Big Idea

"BEAT IT" is a game-like experience for cancer patients to become more empowered by being given consistent access to health information, which could lead to changes in their attitudes toward their active involvement in SDM during their treatment. "BEAT IT" could educate, empower and encourage young patients with cancer to participate in their healthcare decisions.

IDEATION

Choose an avatar

A) Avatar has various physical actions it could take.

  1. Water intake (8 cups a day keep the doctors away, that’s what they say)

  2. Exercise

  3. Food intake (teaches about food safety)

  4. Etc.

 

B) Emotion, physical health, and energy level are the three “life” indicators.

 

 

 

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WHY GAME?

IMAGING TRENDS

Shared Decision Making

SDM is the next consumer health movement

The patient and physician working together to meet the patient’s health care goals.

Healthcare Mobile Apps

mHealth apps can empower patients, encourage greater participation of patients in medical decision-making, and increase patient satisfaction. 

Gaming in Healthcare System

A wide range of games for health focuses on learning and distraction, frequently dealing with chronic conditions, for instance, diabetes, asthma and severe illness such as cancer.

"BEAT IT" 'S GOALS

Encouragement
Teaming Up
Empowerment
Experimentation
Learning
Exploration

LEAD USERS

  • Our lead users are the AYA oncology population which is the 15–39 age range.

  • They are the internet and smartphone generation.

  • Young cancer patients who are willing to participate in their healthcare decisions.

  • Family and close friends of cancer patients who are involved in their decisions and treatment.