Challenge Many promising serious games in healthcare are being developed by researchers and doctors throughout Europe. However, several factors prevent the success of these games. For example, there are high fixed costs due to business development, sales, compatibility, distribution, etc. Also, long timelines are standard as there is a lot of conservativeness in this new market and there are many regulations and policies involved. Moreover, fragmentation between target groups, customers, and countries impede enough commercial support for most health games.
Opportunity Market forecasts for serious games, health apps, etc. are very promising, especially since this domain still needs to be created for a large part. The market is becoming large and attractive, but it might easily take 5 years to develop sufficiently. To give an idea: the serious gaming market is estimated at €5.5B in 2020 and the total market for digital health apps is estimated at over €200B by 2020, of which many are gamified applications.
Solution The solution can be found in creating shared support for evidence-based health games, e.g. by bundling commercialisation efforts. This way, several suppliers of games, such as collaborating academics and game developers, can benefit from shared resources and easier market access. Economies of scale result in lower fixed costs, creating shared support in the market diminishes long timelines, and building a trusted brand will lead to better customer channels which will decrease fragmentation in this market.
Status Currently, collaborations have been set up with suppliers of games that focus on (further) education of the medical professional and on supporting patients with their treatment, the first target markets. Over 100 games are on the radar, of which 5 form the first portfolio of ProLUDE which is being offered to hospitals, GP´s and rehabilitation centres.
Financing need The financing needed to cover the first two years will be composed from (informal) investors and matching European subsidies.