An App that Monitors Cancer Patients’ Physical and Mental Health Using Reward System

Researchers have developed an electronic application to monitor cancer patients’ physical and mental health using gamification. The app was tested in a study published in the Journal of Healthcare Engineering.

In this app, users answer a series of daily questions about their mood and where they are experiencing pain. Subsequently, the app rewards them in the form of advice or songs, resources intended to increase their motivation. For example, the researchers note, for the question “How did you sleep?”, users mark a point on a horizontal line between the two extremes “very badly” and “very well”, while for the question “Where in your body are you experiencing pain?”, the screen displays an image of a body on which patients mark areas affected by pain.

The information obtained from their answers is sent to a hospital or association physician for analysis. “The use of gamification enables more continuous monitoring of cancer patients by obtaining frequent information about their mood. Among other things, this lets us know if they are depressed, stressed or in pain”, explained Iván García-Magariño, a researcher in the Department of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence at the UCM via a press release.

García Magariño noted that the researchers are now working to incorporate the app on other devices such as smart furniture or watches. “We don’t know exactly when our products will be available to the general public because that will depend on our resources and interest from potential users”, he concluded.