Imperial College London

Serious Health Games in focus at International Summit organised by Imperial


ECS Games summit

Dr Enrique Castro Sanchez discussing "On Call Antibiotics" app at the Serious Games Workshop

International Summit and workshop on Serious Health Games at South Kensington has successfully widened understanding on usage of Serious Health Games

Tuesday 20 March saw international speakers gathering on the subject of Serious Health Games, organised by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London. The event was funded by the ESRC Impact Accelerator call, and it was aiming to facilitate learning and discussion on a variety of aspects related to the design, evaluation and implementation of health games with a view to progress and resolve some of the challenges associated with its use.

The event enabled the interaction with experts and exchange of ideas and experiences, their comparability and likelihood of impact in the UK health care landscape.

The day started with a 2 hour workshop, where the participants (a good mixture of clinicians, researchers and healthcare professionals) discussed the HPRU Unit’s own serious game: 'On call: antibiotics', which is aimed to shape antimicrobial prescribing behaviour in hospital prescribers.

The game has been developed in collaboration with game developers, clinicians and patients, it is focusing on changing treatment behaviours, rather than the medications themselves. To evaluate the effectiveness of the game after implementation, this workshop was concentrating on the following questions: 


  • How can we ensure the game is responsive to the needs of those who are using it?
  • What barriers are there to serious games being picked up by clinicians, funders and commissioners?
  • Looking at the game from a Global Health Perspective: if this game works from London, how can we ensure it works in low and middle income countries? How can we include a global audience in our solution?
  • How can a prescribing game help the NHS? What do we need to do to allow citizens to benefit from this game?


Games group
Participants of the interactive workshop discussing NIHR HPRU's serious game “On call Antibotics”

The event then continued to discuss design challenges generally for serious games, including talks on: “Serious game experience for infection control” (by Dr Anne-Gaëlle Venier, MD, PhD, Public Health Medical Doctor, Infection control practitioner. Cpias Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France); “From Games to Health: 5 Lessons learnt from the Video Games Industry” (by Anna Sort, CEO of PlayBenefit) and “A Healthy SeriousGiggle for active ageing: The use of games to demistify ageing bias.” (by Dr Liliana Vale Costa, Researcher at DIGIMEDIA, University of Aveiro).



Rakhee Parmar

Rakhee Parmar
Department of Infectious Disease

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