A survey on gamification for health rehabilitation care: applications, opportunities, and open challenges

Review written by Dr Xiaoqi Chen info

Key Points

  1. Gamification techniques can be useful to compliment traditional therapy by providing a more fun, engaging, and motivating environment, and to help track patient progress using live data analytics.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Gamification in the context of health rehabilitation is the use of gaming technology to engage and motivate people to achieve their therapeutic goals. Through adjustments in game mechanics and design elements, gamification can be tailored to various rehabilitation settings, and can be a powerful supplementary tool to assist clinicians in various ways:

  1. Motivate and increase patient engagement through the incorporation of game elements such as rewards, storytelling, and leader boards.

  2. Provide tailored feedback to patients through live data tracking, virtual avatars, and dashboard analytics.

  3. Increase exercise intensity and improve quality of motor control (e.g. using robot-assisted therapy for neurological patients).

  4. Increase patients’ social support through interaction with an online community.

The objective of this review was to discuss the application of recent gamified technology in physical rehabilitation settings, and their challenges in implementation.

Gamification in the context of health rehabilitation is the use of gaming technology to engage and motivate people to achieve their therapeutic goals.
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Some benefits of using gamification technology in rehabilitation include increased motivation, adherence, feedback, and improved social support and engagement.

METHODS

  • The authors did a literature search in the areas of “gamification”, “rehabilitation”, “exercise”, and “therapy” from 2010 to 2020 using the databases PubMed, ACM, IEEE Xplore, Scopus, and ScienceDirect.
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