Project description

»Em•pa•thy« (›empowerment of the patient in therapy‹) is an innovative mobile assistance and navigation system for patients with chronic illnesses facing long treatment plans. Conceived as a modular platform with independent applications, it can be deployed where conventional forms of documentation and support fail. It places the patient in the centre of the process.

Research question

How can patients with long-term illnesses and extended treatment plans be informed, motivated, supported and mobilised in a different and more effective way? What alternative possibilities can be opened up by a digital tool that draws on successful concepts from game design and rethinks »personalised medicine«?


We will compare methodological approaches and theoretical concepts from game thinking, design thinking, cultural studies, philosophy, ethnology and medicine, and consolidate and develop them in individual research designs. We will use this work to iteratively create concept designs, prototypes and clinical user evaluations in the field of oncological treatment.

Target audience

Thinking about one’s own role and experiences in the healthcare system is a question everyone faces at some point in time. Opportunities to be an active protagonist in the patient/doctor relationship are therefore of interest to non-patients as well. The reorientation of interdisciplinary research will provide valuable inspiration for all the disciplines involved in the project for their own work.

Project status

The development of our own first module prototypes was accompanied by a phase of basic research with a broad scope. We are now entering the second phase of iterative clinical evaluation and conceptual reworking.

Expected resulted / Evaluation

In parallel to this work, the project team is publishing research results on the conception and realisation of patient-oriented applications. We are preparing further clinical study designs on the added value of digital, interactive and gamified patient management and incorporating ongoing user feedback.