A mobile gaming environment, to improve physical (re-) conditioning, and learn children self-manage their asthma in a fun manner



Self-management is the key in successful treatment of childhood asthma. Current healthcare fails to support in acquiring self-management skills, expressed by a critically low treatment adherence and treatment failure. We need to support beyond the medical environment into daily life. Therefore, we aim to develop an innovative proof-of-concept: AIRplay. AIRplay incorporates sensing and smart coaching strategies in a mobile gaming environment, to improve physical (re-) conditioning, and learn children self-manage their asthma in a fun manner. AIRplay is developed by combining medical-technical expertise, and its feasibility will be evaluated as a starting point towards future clinical trials.


Asthma remains the most common chronic disorder in childhood, The large majority (70-90%) of asthmatic children are affected by exercise-induced asthma (EIA) which deters children from participating in regular physical activity or leads to dropping out of play and sports.

The success of asthma control highly depends on development of illness perception and self-management skills of these children. But this fails in daily practice because 1) lack of healthcare professional support, 2) children’s lack of awareness and insight in their disease and consequently, lack of self-management independent from their parents. Children need to be aware of their disease and learn how to self-manage and control their asthma.

Unobtrusive biomedical sensing in daily life could enable the collection and monitoring of relevant information for asthmatic children to increase awareness. Intelligent technologies (e.g. based on decision support technology and tailored feedback) could provide remote supervision and smart coaching in daily life, without additional effort needed from care professionals. Furthermore, the technology should be engaging and seamlessly incorporated in daily life, without too much emphasis on the disease itself and being sick.

Games have shown to be a successful tool to motivate and engage in physical activity resulting in high participation rates)and hold promises as a channel for promoting self-management among asthmatic children


The challenge is to combine such biomedical sensing and smart coaching with innovative gaming strategies, so that children become more adherent to their medication, feel supported in becoming more physically active, and teach children to self-manage their asthma in a fun and playful manner.

Our aim is to develop and evaluate an innovative proof-of-concept for children with exercise-induced asthma (8-12 years) for improving their self-management skills in order to be able to better control their disease, called AIRplay.


Biomedical Signals & Systems, University of Twente

Human Media Interaction, University of Twente

Pediatric department, Medisch Spectrum Twente

Pediatric department, Ziekenhuisgroep Twente

Research themes

From Human Sensory-Motor Function to Patient-Practitioner Interaction

Principal investigator tracks

Miriam Vollenbroek-Hutten: Remote Monitoring and Treatment


‘Pioneers in Healthcare Innovation Fund (2015)

People involved from BSS

Miriam Vollenbroek-Hutten

Monique Tabak

Frederiek de Vette

Miriam Cabrita


July 2016 – June 2017