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e-Health in gaming and avatars

Improving health through online gaming

An artificial intelligence-based clinical intervention for patients with Type-2 diabetes that aims to help them achieve health and wellness goals.

Our project group was established in 2011, drawing together an interdisciplinary health team and a group of experts in language and technology design.

We're interested in how we can use electronic means to improve health. Our mission is to use artificial intelligence technology to create a lifestyle coach for users with diabetes. We have designed an avatar named ‘Sunny’ to respond to users in a manner that will encourage them towards their health and wellness goals and, ultimately, aid them in managing their diabetes. Using a cognitive-behavioural approach, Sunny continually offers suggestions for users to modify their thinking and behaviour around eating and exercise patterns, self-image, motivation and ambitions. 

Our team has worked with health practitioners and language specialists to produce 70,000 words of text for Sunny to respond with when users input information by text or voice.

We have produced a prototype for an application that uses an avatar to encourage users with type-2 diabetes to reach their health and wellness goals.

People with type-2 diabetes require individualised exercise, diet and medication prescriptions, and to monitor their blood glucose levels. This app would send daily reminders and weekly reviews around exercise and lifestyle goals, as well as encouraging a reflective journal to be kept. Healthcare professionals can log in to check goals and adherence.

We are now seeking funding to develop the product for distribution.

The outputs of this project will be to help people to follow the correct path in their diabetes management. They will be able to monitor their blood glucose levels, exercise, diet, and medication, and review these on a weekly basis.

Ideally, people with diabetes using this app will achieve their goals and outcomes they have set, usually in combination with their healthcare professional.

Internal collaborators

External collaborators

  • Dr Mary Lam, University of Technology Sydney
  • Dr Barbara Mullan, Curtin University

Project Node Leader

Professor Stephen Twigg
Professor Stephen Twigg
Visit Stephen Twigg's profile