Neurobiologist Heidi Lesscher, who studies social play in chronically ill children, participated in the Hacking Health Weekend at UMC Utrecht: 'We wanted to create a game that would facilitate chronically ill children in playing with others. I never could have imagined that we would have such a tangible product after just one weekend!' The team will be testing the Hip&Co game during the ‘As long as they’re happy!’ ('Als ze maar gelukkig zijn!') open day in the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital.
Heidi Lesscher and her fellow team members Merel van der Vlist (Utrecht University) and Anouk Tuijnman (Trimbos Institute) were hoping to gain fresh ideas for a game that could give children with chronic illnesses more opportunities to play with their peers. Their search was fruitful, says Lesscher: "Seven people joined us during the hackathon: a graphic designer and a programmer from a game design company, a statistician who has experience working with educational games and children with mental health disorders, two IT trainees with backgrounds in biology, an industrial designer and an expert in the field of artificial intelligence."