The project MGIHealth stands for “Mobile Games to Incentivize Healthy Habits” and aims to bring uniquely engaging game experiences to the silver generation as a means of incentivising better nutrition and increased physical activity. The project lays the foundations for connecting existing game technology with e-health platforms, allowing for health-related meta-game mechanisms. This includes rewarding players for completing game-related, activity & nutrition-related challenges with awards, extended playtime or in-game currency.
Halfway through the project period, the team has focused on implementing core technology integrations and research on user data handling policies. After researching mobile e-health platforms, the pre-existing game engine was integrated with Apple HealthKit and a demonstrator application that can read real-time health measurements, sensor data and statistics from the popular health platform. The interface also allows writing health information to the platform, which allows gathering data that is not easily gathered through sensors, including nutritional information. This technology was test-integrated to an existing game to not only demonstrate feasibility but also showcase how meta-gaming on health goals can become a small but important nudge towards enforcing healthy habits.
In the meantime, research on the latest data privacy legal framework is taking place, in an effort to understand how to best deal with health-related user data and optimize the User Experience accordingly. Early findings suggest that to maintain cost effectiveness and ensure privacy protection, any similar data should remain on the device and be managed by the health platform. Storing health data on the datacenter requires anonymization, operations and data management procedures that can significantly increase the game’s costs of operation.
“Working with INCluSilver, not only did we incorporate new technologies in our existing game portfolio, but also we are discovering an emerging market where gaming and gamification can truly make a difference. Through the INCluSilver ecosystem, we’ve been learning about the challenges and opportunities of the modern-day silver generation and are working together with nutrition and data-protection experts, to address those challenges with gamification-based solutions”, says the team behind MGIHealth.
The Eyelead Software project has gained insights into the potential for integrating a health-related platform, such as Apple HealthKit, with a game development platform. The integrated platform was used as a prototype for health gamification, including activity and nutrition-based achievements and a system with step sensors to drive real-time game outcomes. The prototype was presented at the INCluSilver training and network event in Paris in October 2018.
Best practices have also been identified for handling sensitive health information in compliance with the EU data protection regulation (GDPR) and using them to provide new game experiences. Following an evaluation of the business repercussions of GDPR, the Eyelead team has concluded that personal e-health data should be processed and stored on the individual user’s own device. This is necessary to avoid the risks and maintenance involved in processing data outside a device.
A key learning from the project is that existing e-health platforms do not provide sufficient real-time data for meaningful gamification. For example, current systems lack automated sensors for tracking nutrition intake. Eyelead Software has initiated a new project with another INCluSilver partner to overcome this challenge.
About Eyelead Software
Eyelead Software is a leading software developer focusing in next generation 3D entertainment applications and state-of-the-art visualisation technologies. Capitalising over 10 years of research and development, Eyelead Software has developed the Hive3D Development Platform™ that combines a real-time collaborative, network-aware authoring development environment with a state of the art 3D engine. Hive3D dramatically accelerates 3D game and application creation, while delivering state of the art visual quality.