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How can online games aid healthcare?

What is game and their function for health?
Hello. This is Elia Gabarron, from University Hospital of North Norway. And I will talk about gamification and social media for health behaviour change. But, first of all, I want to show you the agenda for this MOOC. First we will talk about games and health, afterwards about social media and health. And then I will present a project example called, which is a gamified educational web application which includes a gamified appointment system and social media for recruitment. Games are defined by the dictionary as an activity that one engages in for amusement. Games are very popular. They are funny, engaging, easily accessible through different technological platforms, like laptop computers, smartphone, tablet computers.
And, for example, here are some examples of the most popular games in Taiwan, for example. One of the most famous games over there is DOTA Legends. You also have a very popular Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga. But is there any relationship between games and health? How the games are being related to health? Traditionally, the games have been linked to health for their potential to harm. However, most new publications have found its benefits. Next I will present some examples on the pros and cons of the use of games for health that have been published in the literature. But let’s start first with cons that have been found. Here you can see a couple of publications.
And they found that the most popular research on games and health have focused on the potential to harm. For example, they talk about how exposure to violent games has been related to aggressive behaviours, to desensitisation to violence, and decreases in pro-social behaviour. To play violent games even have been found to increase the aggression more than watching violent movies. Some other harm that they have found related to games is like the inactivity and therefore the potential development of obesity related to games. There is also the game addiction, epileptic seizures, motion sickness, and they even have found there are possible musculoskeletal pain syndromes related to computer and video-game use. However, games have also demonstrated that they can improve health outcomes.
For example, they can increase physical activity. Here you can see, for example, games have been used to improve health outcomes, like this game that you can see in the picture, where the people– they have to play and move. And therefore we can say that can help to reduce obesity. Some other advantages of games. They have found that they are very good at distracting people from acute or chronic pain. They can help for educating on self-management, for example for the management of diabetes type 1. Games also have proof to help in developing social skills for people with autism. They can help dealing with anxiety and depression. And even games can help for training surgeons.
You can see a couple of pictures here. Maybe you have had the opportunity to try any of these games.

Elia Gabarron is a Research Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Integrated Care and Telemedicine, at the University Hospital of North Norway, and PhD Candidate at the Arctic University of Norway.

She is a psychologist with experience in e-health research and is heading a research project on the use of computer/smartphone mediated communication and social networking in health promotion to youngsters. She has co-authored several international peer-reviewed articles in this field.

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Social Media in Healthcare: Opportunities and Challenges

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