Critical elements underpinning the emergence of the medical game ecosystem: gamifying traumatic brain injury rehabilitation in Finland Linda Lotta Luhtala - 2016


Support : Références scientifiques
Author(s) : Linda Lotta Luhtala
Editor : University of Turku - Turku School of Economics
Date : 2016
Lang : Lang


The healthcare sector is currently in the verge of a reform and thus, the medical game research provide an interesting area of research. The aim of this study is to explore the critical elements underpinning the emergence of the medical game ecosystem with three sub-objectives: (1) to seek who are the key actors involved in the medical game ecosystem and identify their needs, (2) to scrutinise what types of resources are required in medical game development and what types of relationships are needed to secure those resources, and (3) to identify the existing institutions (‘the rules of the game’) affecting the emergence of the medical game ecosystem. 

The theoretical background consists of service ecosystems literature. The empirical study conducted is based on the semi-structured theme interviews of 25 experts in three relevant fields: games and technology, health and funding. The data was analysed through a theoretical framework that was designed based upon service ecosystems literature. The study proposes that the key actors are divided into five groups: medical game companies, customers, funders, regulatory parties and complementors. Their needs are linked to improving patient motivation and enhancing the healthcare processes resulting in lower costs. Several types of resources, especially skills and knowledge, are required to create a medical game. To gain access to those resources, medical game companies need to build complex networks of relationships. Proficiency in managing those value networks is crucial. In addition, the company should take into account the underlying institutions in the healthcare sector affecting the medical game ecosystem. Three crucial institutions were identified: validation, lack of innovation supporting structures in healthcare and the rising consumerisation. 

Based on the findings, medical games cannot be made in isolation. A developmental trajectory model of the emerging medical game ecosystem was created based on the empirical data. The relevancy of relationships and resources is dependent on the trajectory that the medical game company at that time resides. Furthermore, creating an official and documented database for clinically valdated medical games was proposed to establish the medical game market and ensure an adequate status for the effective medical games. Finally, ecosystems approach provides interesting future opportunities for research on medical game ecosystems.


References (1):


Alvarez, J. – Alvarez, V. – Djaouti, D. – Michaud, L. (2010) Serious games: training & teaching – healthcare – defence & security – information & communication, IDATE.

Keywords : Medical games, Health games, Health technology, Service ecosystems approach