Medical app for little patients
Understand your treatment process better through gamification with LOUISA
The LOUISA project was launched by the Centre for Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine of the University Hospital Essen and the
Foundation University Medicine Essen. The idea is to focus on children and adolescents with illnesses in order to inform them
about their illness and the treatment process in a way that is appropriate to the child, situation and time.
The aim of LOUISA is to create more transparency between the treatment team, patient and relatives, to reduce fear and uncertainty, to increase the young patients' sense of autonomy and to increase their compliance.
All requirements spoke in favour of a patient portal as an app that is closely linked to the hospital information system (HIS). For this purpose, a development partnership was entered into between the University Hospital Essen and the Cologne IT company m.Doc in order to support and motivate children and young people with the app to be developed in an age-appropriate way through a gamification approach.This was to be controlled by an avatar/character that becomes the child's ally as a buddy with a handicap.
Centigrade's objective was the development of this gamification concept, the character design of the buddy and the screen design of the app.
A friend, a good friend
The user research with the patients for the character designy showed that a kind of mentor could be a good way to encourage the children and young people to use the app. We wanted to create a character who helps but is also dependent on the help of the patients. It was also important to us that the users found the character visually appealing. We worked out various ideas and let the young patients participate and make decisions at an early stage.
The Game Loop:
Search for the magic village
By making daily entries in their medical diary, patients unlock points that they can use to help their little buddy on his own journey full of challenges. In the game loop, the character is on a quest to regain his magical abilities. To do this, he travels through different areas, meets new friends and, with the help of the children, gradually regains his magic. His journey begins, like that of the patients, in the hospital.
We have created a different environment design for each area, so that the theming changes again and again. At each station, our buddy regains a new ability with which he can travel to the next area. This progress, as well as the role of the helper that the users take on, should playfully motivate them to write daily entries in the medical diary.
A magical journey
The journey of the little character from hospital to home in his magical village is centred on the duration of the hospital stay. Patients receive daily reminders of their diary entries and can also access medication plans, child-friendly information, explanatory videos about their treatment process and much more.