Focus Scientific Research


Ruth Mateus-Berr

Institute for Art Science and Art Education Dep. Specialist Didactics

The project INTERACCT aims at investigating the enrichment of traditional E-Health platforms with entertainment elements, to motivate young patients and foster medical communication between young patients and their respective clinicians. Although our approach may be generalized to any child related chronic disease, due to the special area of expertise of our project partner Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) at the St. Anna Children’s Hospital, INTERACCT focuses on patients being taken care of in the outpatient clinic after stem cell transplantation.
We plan to design and develop an innovative, adaptive and entertaining/playful Web platform (INTERACCT) in a multidisciplinary approach at the interface of clinical research, design thinking and information communication technology (ICT). Augmented clinician-patient communication may enable the clinician to early identify behavioral changes which precede manifest symptoms of diseases. Furthermore the tool will be adaptive to developing problems e.g. enhanced “drinking games” if fluid intake is decreasing. An entertaining user interface specially designed for juvenile patients should foster interaction with the tool and improve long term treatment adherence. In the long run, the use of INTERACCT could lead to earlier diagnosis and, thus, to a better quality of care after HSCT.
INTERACCT therefore should have the look and feel of modern entertainment platforms, including various elements of entertainment, challenges, games and social aspects, etc. Seen from the children’s perspective, INTERACCT delivers mainly entertainment, and is a source of challenges, competitions, empowerment and fun. The E-Health aspects of fostering compliance, communication, and treatment should be visible, but not dominating.
INTERACCT does not require any newly created hardware devices. Unlike other E-Health projects, we do not aim at using special health sensor hardware that automatically detects and sends health data. Data collection will only include information as requested in the patient handbook like eating and drinking behavior, bowel movement, observation of pain etc.). Any clinical examination will only take place in the hospital during the regular mandatory visits.
Therefore, INTERACCT is a pure software solution, but will integrate state-of-the-art low-cost and off-the-shelf consumer equipment like web cams, smart phones or a Kinect sensor to increase the fun factor for children and adolescents. Also, we do aim at using the Kinect or even Android based smartphones as input sensors for health data. The Kinect for instance can be used to guide treatment games fostering movement. Also, we aim at analyzing player performance data to help clinicians in detecting worsening of a patient´s condition.