Inspiration

My personal inspiration is Albert Barille, a French Doctor and his animation series Once Upon a Life https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Once_Upon_a_Time...

My hand on experience about games as a high stakes poker pro and my research about the medical treatment of game addiction gave me the idea that games have such a great potential to engage human mind for something positive.

What it does

Game play video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FBDwwUB12Y

Our mobile game is a casual strategy mobile game introducing the human immune system in a visual, engaging and interactive way. The game introduces the concepts and functionality of the cells of the immune system, bacteria, viruses and vaccines. Progressing through the game, the player faces new information in small, easily digestible bits and applies this information repeatedly to enhance the learning process.

The game includes an encyclopedia with game play instructions as well as real-life information about diseases and vaccines. The game has been designed in a way that allows for easy integration of timely health topics such as COVID-19 prevention measures: washing your hands etc.

COVID-19 campaign video will be done with a similar style than this video about the risks of hepatitis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFKrCdUdumc

IMPACT: there are 2,1 billions of gamers worldwide and a mobile game and campaign is a scalable awareness solution. An engaging and awarded game about the immune system and corona and the campaign has the potential to reach out tens of millions of people who might be difficult to reach with the traditional methods. Game and campaign will be updated during the pandemic starting from the preventative actions and basic information about the corona and then in the later phases the focus will be in the recommendations of the corona vaccinations.

How we built it

We have a multidisciplinary team with pedagogical, game design, art, pharma, business, and technological understanding. Building a great game as itself is difficult, building a great game with scientific accuracy is even more difficult. Proving the efficiency in vaccine awareness takes time as well. Game is the results of 3years of R&D and two pilots with the leading vaccine producer GSK. Our solution is a novel way of communicating disease awareness.

Challenges we ran into

Measuring the effect on understanding, attitudes and behaviour is challenging. Dealing with life science companies and organisations is very slow since we need data and evidence about the performance of the product.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Achievements and References: • Psyon Games method for gamified health information has already been widely recognized: the game has been featured by WHO as one of the great examples to tackle health issues. • The game has been featured by The Board of the Vaccines by the Parliament of Finland • Vaccine game platform has been awarded as the game of the year award in applied games category by Finnish game Industry in 2018. • Psyon Games was chosen as the TOP10 promising marketing technology companies in Finland • Vaccine awareness results about the pilot with leafing vaccine producer GSK were published In March 2020 in Vaccine Today article: Gamified information method showed excellent performance compared to the existing industry reference methods • Psyon Games is the won the health startup of the year award by the EyeForPharma Barcelona, the biggest commercial pharma event in the world in April 2020

What we learned

The method has been tested around travel vaccines in two pilots with a leading vaccine producer GSK in Finland. The results exceeded all reference campaign benchmarks by high margin:

• 67% savings in effective advertising costs in social media marketing • Over 300% improvement in redirecting to the vaccine information website • 4000% more time spent interacting with the game compared to time on • the traditional vaccine information website

More info in this VaccineToday article: https://www.vaccinestoday.eu/stories/serious-gamers-have-coronavirus-antidote-in-their-sights/

What's next for COVID19 awareness and understanding gamified

The method will be tested by implementing a SARS-CoV-2 character in the game along with crucial public health information about effective prevention measures and call-to-actions. The project has been tested with Hepatitis awareness and the method will be now tested with COVID-19. The project starts by mapping the suitable test markets (2 month). The target countries should have high enough smart phone coverage and working distribution channels (iOS or Android). The target market is chosen also based on the severity of local measles presence (e.g.India). The target demography (high risk and vulnerable populations) is mapped using community maps. A detailed campaign strategy is created (6 weeks). Reference user acquisition data from past campaigns will be used. We optimize the marketing spending based on the target market user acquisition cost e.g. 0.06€ per install (in India). Disease information campaign animations with measles game characters will be produced. Localization including the language of the disease campaign will be made. COVID-19 information page is created. with links to governmental vaccine information websites. The game and the info pages are linked as presented in figure 1. The materials creation will take 2 months. The campaign is performed in the target countries over a course of 10 months. Two months are reserved for analysis and two months for reporting.

Psyon Games is preparing a study with the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, THL: Examine the potential of digital games as communicative and educational tools for creating trust in science (WP4).

Our conceptual objective, which we address in WP4, deals with the potential of digital games as communicative and educational tools for creating trust in science. More specifically, the aim is to evaluate the effects of the use of a mobile game called Antidote on the science literacy related to vaccines and uptake of the measures to fight COVID-19 pandemic of the children/young adults in Finland, Italy and Ireland. This game has been highlighted by WHO as an example of innovative approaches to engaging the public and the developer Psyon Games has been awarded as the health start-up of the is the year 2020 by the Eyeforpharma/Reuters. The aim would be to study on one hand the prior knowledge and attitudes towards vaccines among 15-25 years old, and on the other hand, the ability of the students to learn and critically assess scientific information provided through the Antidote game with a post interventions survey. Moreover, experiences of the representatives of the educational institutions on the feasibility of this kind of tool for educational purposes will be collected and reported. This study will continue the cooperation that THL has earlier had with Finnish gaming industry in developing game approaches to educational purposes. The aim, in particular, is to explore whether the geographical differences in knowledge and trust in vaccines could be alleviated in a cost-effective way by adopting the best practices and addressing the barriers of using educational games. The asymmetries on the uptake of information based on gender and socio-demographic factors will be addressed.

The study provides official authorities, scientists, educators, and other R&I stakeholders with new ideas and guidelines for leveraging gamification as a tool for disseminating official health information and for educating citizens on health-related practices.

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