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Health Points : Health Gamification

Health & Wellness Podcasts

Speaking with leading thinkers, designers, researchers and business leaders in gamification & health


United Kingdom


Speaking with leading thinkers, designers, researchers and business leaders in gamification & health








S2E9: Dom Raban <> Xploro - Augmented reality games reducing children’s stress & anxiety

Series 2, Episode 9 is LIVE! Joining us for episode 9 we have Dom Raban, who is co-founder of Xploro, a unique Digital Therapeutics platform that delivers health information to young patients using augmented reality, artificial intelligence and games. Xploro aims to reduce their stress and anxiety and improve children's clinical outcomes. He is also Chair of Corporation Pop, a creative and digital agency that specialises in mobile app development and emerging technologies. In this episode, we explore: - The importance of human-centred design for Xploro that involves adolescent patients, parents & clinicians to create gamified health services that are fit-for-purpose - To test, test and test again to check design isn’t just representative of a co-design sample, but representative of the population, geography and cultures any product or service is working to support - And that it's not just the role of gamified health interventions, it’s also the adaptations of society to support lifestyle change on a grand scale.


S2E8: Matt Omernick <> Creating the world’s first FDA approved, doctor-prescribed video game

Rolling on to episode eight we have with us Matt Omernick, who has over 20 years experience in the games industry. Matt is Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Akili Interactive, the creators of the World's first and only FDA-approved, Doctor-prescribed video game in history, EndeavorRx. Working with leading cognitive neuroscientists, they are developing the World's first truly therapeutic mobile games to treat cognitive illnesses such as ADHD, Depression, Autism, Alzheimer's, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), as well as a range of additional patient populations. He has a background as Executive Art Director, and Creative Director at studios including DreamWorks, Electronic Arts, @Lucas Arts, and Microsoft. He has worked on over 20 games, including multiple Star Wars and Medal of Honor titles. He has also taught computer graphics at The Academy of Art University, the Art Institute of San Francisco, and Cal State, and authored the book, "Creating the Art of the Game", published in 2004. Quite in the intro indeed. Get ready for an outstanding Health Points episode on:


S2E7: Michiel Van Eunen<>Creating audio adventures for people living with visual impairments

Series 2, Episode 7 is LIVE! Joining us is Michiel Van Eunan, who is a seasoned player in the field of gamification & game-based learning. Since running his first project (The Hunt) in 2003, he made and played over 70 different formats with thousands of people, groups, teams and companies worldwide. Ranging from serious games to escape rooms, Michiel loves to design games that use the immense power of play in the real world. He is a World Experience Organization founding member, was on the Rise Global Top 25 Gamification Guru list, and has spoken many times at Gamification Europe Conference. In this episode, we talk through:


S2E6: Amanda Philpott <>gamifying hearing health with ’eargym’

Series 2, Episode 6 is LIVE! Joining us for episode 6 we have Amanda Philpott, who is an ex-NHS CEO and population health strategy specialist. She is the CEO and co-founder of eargym after the firsthand experience of unaddressed hearing loss in her family. In this episode we explore the limited awareness of the importance of checking your hearing and the science of auditory training that can improve hearing capacity by 25% and how eargym is using digital technology and gamification to bridge the gap of awareness and access to self-management to improve hearing capacity.


S2E5: Jaime Garcia <>developing serious games for older adults & pregnant women + health gamification research

Series 2, Episode 5 is LIVE! We have Dr. Jaime Garcia joining us who is a Senior Lecturer in Games Development at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) with a background in Software Engineering at Neuroscience Research Australia, primarily designing, developing and maintaining fall prevention video games and mobile apps for the Falls Balance Injury Research Centre. On this episode we explore: - nostalgia to short-cut onboarding with older adults - games that can improve and maintain reaction time to reduce the risk of falls and the importance of prototyping - the art of co-design and recognising the 'subtle signs'


S2E4: Niklas Johannes <> digital devices impact on mental health & attention span + the psychology of play

Here is episode 4 and joining us is Niklas Johannes who has worked in roles as a researcher at the Oxford Internat Internet Institute, where he was part of the research program Adolescent Well-Being in the Digital Age. During his PhD, he focused on the effects of always being connected via our phones on the impact on attention and cognitive control. Niklas is currently working in a fintech start-up. In this episode, we explore the impact of phones, social media and games on mental health, focus and attention. The relationships between digital devices in the modern world focus and attention and the psychology of play.


S2E3: Kevyn Eva <> gaming for mental health > delivering emotional support for adolencets and adults

Rolling on to Episode 3 and joining us is Kevyn Eva from the award-winning 'Shadow's Edge' Shadow's Edge is a mobile game for teenagers and adults to build resilience through journaling and art. Kevyn leads the product design and academic research at Shadow's Edge 'Digging Deep' project. During Kevyn’s career, she's looked five years into the future with the Atos Scientific Community. At Microsoft, she led the 'New World of Work' initiative in Switzerland. She is consulting with the digital health start-up Dopa vision, which is working to implement games to reduce the advancing of high progression myopia. In addition to working on an app to support mums with knowledge and encouragement to make feeding their babies more fun.


S2E2: Keith Wakeman <> SuperBetter: the power of living gamefully for over 1m players

Joining us for Episode 2 is Keith Wakeman, CEO of SuperBetter. SuperBetter is regularly listed as the gold standard example of health & wellbeing gamification on the planet, with numerous reviews and the World Economic Forum named SuperBetter as 1 of 14 top innovators globally in youth mental health. In this episode we talk through SuperBetter's creation by Jane McGonnagal, repurposing of game playing as a framework for mental wellbeing, the role of psychology of gameplay in all aspects of life, leveraging the 'challenge mindset' we naturally take on in games applied to health & wellbeing, plus the innovation, business and pricing strategies in developing a successful gamified health solution. Buckle up. It's quite the episode! Keith has led the development & launch of over $1 billion of new products in the health, wellness & food industries. As CEO & Co-Founder, he leads the expansion of SuperBetter to address the global mental health crisis among youth and young adults. SuperBetter is a digital education & mental wellbeing company. They are a global leader in using the psychology of game play to empower people to overcome obstacles & achieve their goals. Over 1 million people have played SuperBetter. SuperBetter was created by world-renowned game designer Jane McGonigal.


S2E1: Noah Falstein <> The evolution of video games > health gamification > the most prestigious scientific journal on the planet

Welcome back to Health Points! Here to kick off Series 2, we have Noah Falstein joining us. Together we explore the evolution of video games through to the foundations of health gamification. Taking health gamification to the front cover of the scientific journal Nature, and the test, fail, learn approach that pioneered the gamification frameworks we see in the industry and education today Noah has been a professional game developer since 1980 with many hit title credits and was an early hire at LucasArts, 3DO, and Dreamworks Interactive. Most recently he was Google's Chief Game Designer. His freelance design business, The Inspiracy is focused on games for health, specifically neurogaming. The Inspiracy has offered design and production consulting for. Noah also lectures and conducts seminars on game design and development, for both traditional and serious games. Noah is Executive Advisor for Akili Interactive, advising Akili on the development and design of some of their upcoming neurogaming software designed to help with a variety of neurological conditions through gameplay He has chapters published in six different game industry books, and is working on his own book about game design issues.


Episode 20: Health Points Panel Debate <> Ethics of Health Gamification

It’s the final episode of Series 1 of Health Points and we’ve ended with a bang. This episode was recorded at the Gamification Europe Conference including a stellar health gamification panel to discuss and debate the ethics of health gamification. The panellist include: Oliver Korn, professor for Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at Offenburg University, Germany and director of the Affective & Cognitive Institute with research area on assistive technologies, emotions in and game design. He co-founded the software company KORION where he continues his work there as a strategic advisor. Author and ‘life-gamer’ Vicortia Ichizli-Bartels. Victoria is the author of 21 books, with nine of them focusing on how to turn life activities into games. She is also an instructor, coach and consultant in the area of Self-Gamifcation. Melis Abacioglu is a serial entrepreneur with three major, industry-moving startups under her belt which includes being the founder of Wellbees, an HR Tech product, specifically a corporate wellbeing platform that works to create a world where everybody reaches her potential whilst being caring to one another. Wellbees serves over 30K employees in 20 companies and 7 countries. Pete and I will be back in the autumn for Series 2 of Health Points. We’d like to thank all our guests over Series 1:


Episode 19: Prof. Robert Böhm & Asst. Prof. Aske Mottelson <> Boosting COVID Vaccination Rates with Virtual Reality Games

Here comes episode 19 and in this episode we explore Robert & Aske’s recent research publication on virtual reality games and vaccination behaviours. We also talk through the role of VR in communicate complex issues and creating health behaviours, novel approaches to research subject recruitment methods, and the future role of gamification in pro-social behaviours for population health. Robert Böhm is Professor of Social and Economic Psychology at the University of Vienna in Austria and a part-time Professor of Applied Social Psychology and Behavioural Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Jeyna and studied Psychology and Intercultural Communication at Chemnitz University of Technology. Aske Mottelson is Assistant Professor in Human-Centred Data Science at IT University of Copenhagen. He has a PhD in computer science from the University of Copenhagen where he completed his postdoc at the Department of Psychology.


Episode 18: Michael Hornberger <> Sea Hero Quest’s navigation to over 4 million players

We’ve arrived at episode 18, joining us is Prof. Michael Hornberger, the co-creator of Sea Hero Quest, a game designed to gather data on people's navigation strategies, which is one of the first skills lost in dementia. We talk through creating games that appeal to older adult audiences, making gamification ‘proper science’ and the distinction between task gamification and casual gamification (….that will hopefully influence the performance of a task). Michael is Professor of Dementia Research and the at the University of East Anglia and the co-creator of Sea Hero Quest. His research group’s work involves using pioneering techniques to identify the spatial or navigation issues in dementia and how these impacts on people's outdoor activities such as driving and walking safely.


Episode 17: David Wortley <> Creating an International Serious Games Institute

Roll on Episode 17, joining us is David Wortley, Vice President of the International Society of Digital Medicine. We talk through David’s background, how he ended up working in digital health and the steps to settings up the Serious Games Institute, and perspectives on the role of gamification in health. In addition to David role at the International Society of Medicine, he is a serial entrepreneur with a 50 years career that spans emerging technologies including telecommunications, computer, digital media and the creative industries. He was the founding director of the Serious Games Institute at Coventry University and responsible for the development of the institute, as a global thought leader on the application of immersive technologies.


Episode 16: Kartheka Bojan <> Brain Wave Activity to Personalise Alzheimer’s Cognitive Games

Welcome to Episode 16, joining us is Kartheka, Founder and CEO of BrainBerry. We talk through the possibilities of brain wave measurement to personalise assessment and intervention games for adults with Alzheimer’s. We explore clinical trials in validating health games, developing games for Octogenarians and a novel brain measurement approach to stop people cheating. Kartheka Bojan has a background in theoretical and mathematical physics with a masters in biomedical engineering. In previous senior roles she has developed a nanotechnology-based glucose monitoring device, the author of pending patents in EEG technology for Alzheimer’s & glucose monitoring and has published work on the design of biosensors with gold nanoparticles.


Episode 15: Andy Yeoman <> Health Education Games for the NHS & Social Care

Joining us in episode 15 is Andy Yeoman to explore the role of games in health and social care education. Focus Games has been delivered to over 2 million people, making training enjoyable, rather than a chore. We explore how educational games make learning interactive and memorable, encouraging players to discuss new ideas, share knowledge and learn from each other. Plus, how games can break through emotionally charged and difficult to discuss topics in ways not always possible in a conversation. Andy is the co-founder and director of Focus Games that launched in 2004. Prior to entering the world of serious games, he completed an undergrad in human biology and worked in sales, marketing and client relationship roles for international life sciences organisations.


Episode 14: Silja Litvin <> Gamifying Emotional Fitness

We’re joined by Silja to dig down into the importance of narratives in health gamification. We walk through her journey in creating eQuoo, the emotional fitness app that offers a journey for users to develop skills in emotional intelligence and how to become a better communicator. Silja has a background in psychology and has ventured into the world of AI and gamification to help people help themselves. This is principally through the emotional fitness app eQuoo where she is CEO. She’s also the founder and CEO of PsychApp, a mental health tech company that builds platforms for both patients and therapists. She’s an honorary research assistant at ULC and a mental health Expert with the Wonder Women Tech Foundation.


Episode 13: Dr. Paul Rinne & Nicola Goldsmith <> Levelling Up Hand Rehab

We’re back for another year of health gamification! We’re joined by Paul and Nicola at Gripable to explore what happens when you combine gamification with a medical rehabilitation device. The Gripable handheld device enables both assessment and training of hand and arm functions, and this tactile feedback loop has resulted in smorgasbord of gamification. In this episode we explore the steps in gamification design, game personalisation, using games to build trust and rapport between clinician and patient and the potential for games as clinical outcome measures. Paul is the Co-Founder and CEO of GripAble, a University spin-out from Imperial College University in London. Paul has a PhD in neuroscience and a background in digital health. He has 12 publication in neuroscience and neurorehabialtion and won multiple awards in heath innovation. Nicola is the Clinical Director at GripAble with Over 30 years of operational and clinical leadership of hand therapy services. She is an occupational therapist and runs a private practice with expertise in management of musicians, she is a partner in NES Hand Therapy Training and the President of the International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy.


Episode 12: Asst. Professor Agnessa Spanellis & Asst. Professor Paula Ramirez <> Gamification creating shared pandemic understanding and covid safe behaviours in indigenous communities

We’re joined by Agnessa and Paula to discuss the findings of their research publication on the role of gamification to develop shared understanding of the pandemic in indigenous communities in Colombia. Their pioneering research looks at analogue gamification solutions that are culturally adapted to win both peoples hearts and minds to share health education and create positive healthy behaviour change. This episode explores cross-cultural gamification, analogue and virtual gamification solutions and explorations of how gamification can be used for health education globally. Agnessa is Asst. Professor at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland with a research focus on the role of gamification in knowledge movement, knowledge sharing and innovation. She has a PhD in Management Science and teaches on strategic innovation and corporate social responsibility. Paula is Asst. Professor at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Columbia. Her interests focus on remote sensing approaches for habitat mapping to evaluate and manage marine ecosystems and influence policy related environment protection.


Episode 11: Lucia Pannese <> Creating a company that has been gamifying health for 15+ years

Roll on episode 11, joining us is Lucia Pannese to talk through her journey in creating and growing imaginary srl, one of the longest established and most respected European serious games companies. We explore the importance and approaches of co-design, mutual adaptation of games and creating games that resonate with users, so people can ‘win’ again. Lucia is CEO of imaginary, founding the company in 2004 following her degree in Applied Mathematics. Since then, she has put all her heart and all energy into the company. She has more than 20 years of managing experience in innovation & research projects, with a special focus on digital interactive technologies to deliver user experiences


Episode 10: Dr. Kerstin Oberprieler <> Gamifcation vs. Occupational health and wellbeing

We’ve made it to episode 10! And joining us is Dr. Kerstin Oberprieler to talk through the role of gamification in the workplace. How game mechanics can be used to increase engagement, collaboration and overall workplace health and wellbeing. Kerstin has a PhD in Gamification and globally recognised as one of the leading experts in gamification. Kerstin is founder and CEO at PentaQuest, building gamified solution that are intuitive, highly engaging effective and engaging.