Art and technology for health

Boyd Davis, Stephen, Moar, Magnus ORCID logoORCID:, Jacobs, Rachel, Watkins, Matt, Shackford, Robin, Oppermann, Leif and Capra, Mauricio (2009) Art and technology for health. In: Handbook of research on information technology management and clinical data administration in healthcare. Dwivedi, Ashish, ed. IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA, pp. 616-630. ISBN 9781605663562. [Book Section]

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This invited chapter describes the development of a prototype digital artwork/game which was designed to make players more aware of the health consequences of their behaviours. A world first, the Wellcome-funded project described has been demonstrated internationally and gone on, after further development by Nottingham University, to win an international award.
The emphasis of the project was on enabling players to become more aware of the performance of their heart – but without setting them targets, prescribing fitness programmes or in any other way making them feel that they were doing ‘work’ or ‘exercise’. A prototype developed principally by artists and designers rather than by health professionals, the game has so far only been evaluated informally, and no longitudinal studies have been undertaken. Nevertheless some interesting issues have been raised. These include the use of digital gameplay as a potential means to modify attitudes and behaviours; the possible benefits of live feedback during use as distinct from retrospective review of performance; and the success of this project in terms of multi-disciplinary collaboration. Since few projects have been based on live heart-rate, the chapter also introduces some of the problems and the potential of exploiting this aspect of behaviour in digital play. First, two contexts are described: the crisis in health caused by widespread low levels of physical activity and the techno-cultural context in which the work was developed. An account of the innovative features of the project leads into a discussion of the issues arising.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): Locative media, Ubiquitous computing, Heart-rate, Public health, Play, Location-sensing, Bio-sensing, Externalisation, Liveness
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 4162
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Depositing User: Dr Stephen Boyd Davis
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2010 10:31
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2022 10:35

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