On December 1st 2011 I started this blog. My second post was about an important initiative in which I really believed: the first edition of Games for Health Europe.
Now, several months later and after a lot of hard work, I have just found out that I will be a speaker in that congress. I can barely put into words what this oportunity means to me, being such a believer in the cause and the need. I thought that such an occasion deserved a peek preview on my blog, so here’s what I will be talking about in the Games for Health 2012 conference.
Designing games as a nurse: Our experience and expertise and how the major turn in healthcare needs to come from within
It is estimated that by 2020 most of the global burden of ill health will be attributed to chronic diseases (WHO). Nurses have a lot of experience caring for patients with chronic diseases, keeping track of their progression and education. However, nurses currently don’t have many resources to ensure that an ongoing learning process is happening after the patient leaves their office and to make sure he or she is truly engaged in the treatment.
This is where videogames step in with the answer. MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) have a great power to teach. A game such as World of Warcraft has the ability to teach its users an incredibly intricate universe and its rules (from spells to roles and gaming slang) in a matter of weeks. Imagine what this kind of tool could do, for instance if transformed into a diabetes game, where anyone could learn how to discuss the illness, understand all of its complexity and combine their insulin, food and activity to get the best out of it.
Understanding patients and understanding videogames is the key to make such a game a reality. We know that the healthcare industry has a lot of change to get through and that it will happen slowly; this is why change must come from within, with healthcare professionals behind these interdisciplinary initiatives not as trial users but as designers. When this is accomplished real change is truly going to happen.