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T-Mobile, Alzheimer NL use gamification for research

T-Mobile and Alzheimer Netherlands have introduced the Dutch version of the game ‘Sea Hero Quest’ for iOS and Android. The game lets users find their way through a maze and has been developed to support research into Alzheimer's disease.

The game makes it possible for researchers to gather information such as data on how the brain works whilst navigating through a maze. Two minutes of game time represents five hours of lab research. The games has been introduced in the US, the UK and Germany, where it has been downloaded over a million times. T-Mobile Netherlands and Alzheimer Netherlands have also announced that they will work together on the T-Mobile Live Forward-platform.

According to Marc Petit, director scientific research with Alzheimer Netherlands, the game offers a good ‘research at home’ alternative for the often time consuming and expensive lab research into the way the human brain works. By using the gamification concept – using gaming principles and methods for non-gaming purposes such as changing behavior – it becomes relatively simple to collect data on a large scale.

The game was developed in co-operation between Deutsche Telekom, University College London, The University of East Anglia and Alzheimer’s Research UK. According to the Global Alzheimer Report 2015 there are over 47 million people worldwide suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. This will rise to 135 million in 2050.

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