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Project description

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) treats serious malignant and non-malignant diseases (e.g. leukemia or sickle cell anaemia) by destroying the patient’s ill immune system and replacing it with new, healthy stem cells. It is a life saving procedure for children and adults with cancer or blood diseases. However, the procedure itself is still associated with considerable morbidity and high risk for mortality (approximately 40%) due to infection, toxicity and immunologic complications. Over the past years, progress in HSCT has significantly improved survival, but mortality has been shifted into the long-term follow-up. In this context, high quality aftercare is an essential part of the therapy, and in particular prompt information is warranted to enhance early diagnosis and to deliver appropriate treatment.

The project INTERACCT investigates the design and development of an E-Health platform specially focusing on juvenile HSCT patients in aftercare. INTERACCT is mainly meant to improve the communication between patients and clinicians in order to detect possibly life-threatening complications as soon as possible. In this context, compliance of patients to follow the treatments as well providing their health status to the clinicians is one of the main factors for survival.

INTERACCT specially focuses on supporting compliance by making the design as child friendly as possible. This includes a fun and entertaining user interface, as well as the provision of specific computer games inside an online world. Although we focus on juvenile HSCT patients, we think that our approach can be generalized to any child related chronic disease.

The entertaining and playful INTERACCT Web platform is developed in a multidisciplinary approach at the interface of clinical research, design thinking and information communication technology (ICT). Augmented clinician-patient communication may enable the clinician to early identify behavioral changes which precede manifest symptoms of diseases. Furthermore the tool will be adaptive to developing problems e.g. enhanced “drinking games” if fluid intake is decreasing. An entertaining user interface specially designed for juvenile patients should foster interaction with the tool and improve long term treatment adherence. In the long run, the use of INTERACCT could lead to earlier diagnosis and, thus, to a better quality of care after HSCT.

INTERACCT therefore should have the look and feel of modern entertainment platforms, including various elements of entertainment, challenges, games and social aspects, etc. Seen from the children’s perspective, INTERACCT delivers mainly entertainment, and is a source of challenges, competitions, empowerment and fun. The E-Health aspects of fostering compliance, communication, and treatment should be visible, but not dominating.

INTERACCT does not require any newly created hardware devices. Unlike other E-Health projects, we do not aim at using special health sensor hardware that automatically detects and sends health data. Data collection will only include information as requested in the patient handbook like eating and drinking behavior, bowel movement, observation of pain etc.). Any clinical examination will only take place in the hospital during the regular mandatory visits.

Therefore, INTERACCT is a pure software solution, but will integrate state-of-the-art low-cost and off-the-shelf consumer equipment like web cams, smart phones or a Kinect sensor to increase the fun factor for children and adolescents. Also, we do aim at using the Kinect or even Android based smartphones as input sensors for health data. The Kinect for instance can be used to guide treatment games fostering movement. Also, we aim at analyzing player performance data to help clinicians in detecting worsening of a patient´s condition.


University of Vienna - Faculty of Computer Science

The research group Entertainment Computing (EC) at the Faculty of Computer Science, University of Vienna, was founded in 2011 and studies various aspects of computer technologies for entertainment, including technologies for computer games, impact of serious games and virtual therapy on patients with phobias, enhancing life with entertainment tools, gamification of daily life, communication and computation for entertainment etc. Recently we focussed on technology for virtual humans, including face reconstruction, modelling, emotional synthesis, and human gait for computer games. Other areas include applied games in the serious games field, cloud gaming, and multimedia communication. We also develop performance models for predicting energy consumption of computers and applications. Our teaching courses include multimedia communication, real-time computer graphics, AI and physics for games, and cloud gaming. One of the main foci of the group is interdisciplinary work within and beyond the UoV. In the past we have already successfully cooperated with the Institute of Clinical Psychology, the Institute of Mass Media and the Institute of Sociology via third-party funded projects and a commonly advised PhD-thesis.

Children´s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI)/ St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung, Vienna, Austria

The Children´s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI) operated by the St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung Association is a non-profit research institution that is solely funded by volunteer’s donations and competitive research grants. It was founded in 1988 with the overall aim to improve the treatment options for children suffering from cancer through basic and translational research. It has since then significantly contributed i) to the understanding of the pathogenesis of paediatric cancer diseases, ii) to the development of therapy-optimization protocols and iii) of novel, improved diagnostics that are nowadays implemented in different clinical studies across Europe.
The close interaction with the St. Anna Children´s Hospital of the Medical University of Vienna is used as a platform and to tackle patient relevant scientific questions addressing the understanding of cancer diseases, their treatment und the consequences of disease and treatment modalities. The singularity of the CCRI is its multidirectional knowledge exchange and the direct flow from science to clinics, which ensures that research undertaken addresses patient relevant topics and that paediatric patients benefit from the results. The Institute interacts also closely with other paediatric oncology hospitals, biotech companies and research institutions in Austria, Europe and worldwide.

University of Applied Arts Vienna

The University of Applied Arts Vienna is a place for critical reflexion of thinking and acting; we promote questions more than remedies. Our studies are not restricted to conveying artistic techniques and skills, but we emphasise the importance of reflection in the context of contemporary relevant theories, concepts and discourses. As a leading center of excellence in art and research, the Angewandte is recognized nationally and internationally. The Angewandte has at its disposal a densely woven and structurally well-established network of internationally renowned institutions and experts, providing numerous possibilities for cooperation to national and international partners. These cooperations include partners like universities within the framework of the European League for the Institutes of the Arts or the European University Association, the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media or the Eurasia Pacific Uninet.

T-Systems Austria

With an IT infrastructure and datacenters all around the world, T-Systems is running information and communication systems (ICT) for multicorporate enterprises and public institutions. T-Systems is serving the B2B business from the "German Telecom" and offeres integrated solutions for a connected future in many fields of business and society. Around 52.700 T-Systems employees combine industry knowledge with ICT innovations and can therefore create added value for the core business.

University of Vienna – Faculty of Psychology – Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology/ Games4Resilience Lab

In the division of clinical child and adolescent psychology, directed by Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Manuel Sprung, innovative approaches to health-psychological prevention and clinical-psychological interventions are investigated. The aim is to improve the accessibility, efficiency and effectiveness of evidence-based health-psychological, clinical-psychological and psychotherapeutic services for children and adolescents. Professor Sprung also founded the Games4Resilience Lab. Games4Resilience are computer games for the promotion of (child and adolescent) mental and behavioral health and substance abuse prevention. The games are developed on the basis of the most recent scientific knowledge about effective (evidence-based) strategies for the promotion of (child and adolescent) mental and behavioral health and addiction prevention. The games are suitable for the general promotion of (child and adolescent) mental and behavioral health and addiction prevention, and may also be used to support treatment of mental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety disorder, depression and conduct disorder.


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