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C

ardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of

premature death (30% of all deaths) and disability in

Europe and worldwide according to the World Health

Organization, costing the EU economy almost €196bn a year. This

is the very problem the PATHway project aims to tackle by

developing a novel technology platform. It empowers CVD patients

that suffer from an age-related condition to obtain the guidance

and care they need to more efficiently self-manage their illness.

This is achieved through socially connected and personalised

exercise sessions which feature highly motivating gamification

components as part of an habitual intervention programme.

PATHway gives each patient an individual home exercise

programme that provides them with the possibility of maintaining

a more active and independent lifestyle, leading to improved

physical, cognitive, mental and social wellbeing. The cardiac

rehabilitation (CR) exercise programmes can be accessed

remotely and completed at any time from the comfort of the

patient’s living room. The platform is internet-enabled as well as

sensor-based and gives immediate feedback not only to the

patient but also to their clinicians, who can then offer more

effective and personalised advice, guidance and follow-up.

Gamification

Exercising, no matter in which context, can be a bit dull. In order

to make the programmes more enjoyable and interactive,

gamification components are implemented in the PATHway

platform. Using psychological techniques, patients are further

motivated to stick to their programmes in the long run, which is

especially important for successful CR. These components are

developed by the SME Nurogames GmbH, a company based in

Cologne, Germany, with over 15 years of experience in game

development, serious games and innovation projects, as well as

expertise in software development, design and animation,

exploitation, and dissemination.

Besides being exploitation leaders in the PATHway project,

Nurogames develops the graphical avatar and simple exergames

with the purpose of facilitating autonomous learning. The goal is

to facilitate the integration of the CR programme in the daily life of

the patients with the highest possible customisation to their

personal needs, and emotional and behavioural patterns. The

highly personalised programmes will also take into account their

individual conditions and preferences as well as their living

environment and social connections. Aside from this, it is essential

that user acceptability and satisfaction with the programme are

as high as its usefulness and efficiency. A game without real CR

progress is useless, and a CR programme without motivation will

not be followed through. In order to merge these components,

multidisciplinary experience in game development, as well as in

research and innovation projects, is needed. This is what

Nurogames brings to the field.

Acknowledgments

This project has received funding from the European Union’s

Horizon2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

Action under Grant Agreement no. 643491.

Dr Holger Sprengel

Nurogames GmbH

+49 221 398 808 40

mobile +49 178 350 1024

holger.sprengel@mgt.nurogames.com http://www.nurogames.com

Germany-based software developer Nurogames details how project

development and gamification can help improve health

PATHway – personalised

health applications

www.horizon2020projects.com

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R T A L

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