Better care for the elderly in Singapore through Dutch game

In April 2016 the Holland Innovation Network of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands organised an innovation fact-finding and matchmaking mission to Singapore. Subject: Integrated care and care for the elderly. Just one year later, the first deal is a fact. Sengkang Health in Singapore has purchased 500 licenses for the serious game Delirium Experience, in order to train their doctors and nurses in delivering better care to patients with a delirium.

“Care for the Elderly is a global challenge. This is a fantastic first step towards international cooperation." said Prof. Dr. Sophia de Rooij, internist and initiator of the Delirium Experience.

The Delirium Experience is an online interactive video game that allows caregivers to learn, in a ‘playful’ environment, how to better recognize and treat a delirious patient. A delirium, also referred to as acute confusion, usually occurs in the elderly as a result of a physical disease. This type of confusion is temporary, but due to the severity of the symptoms, a patient is often confronted with powerless and even non-empathetic hospital staff and family members. The Delirium Experience wants to contribute positively to gaining more knowledge on this subject, but also to improving skills and attitudes, which will enable physicians and nurses to take even better care of this category of patients who are often viewed as ‘complex’.


“Care for the elderly is not only a problem in the Netherlands. It’s precisely the scalability of applied games to a wide range of target audiences and countries that insures the high potential impact of this kind of game. That is why we translated the game into English last year and that is now really starting to pay off." says Sophia de Rooij.


The 500 licenses have been purchased for use by both nurses and doctors from Singapore. The first trainees will have started this new way of learning by this summer. “We find the game exhibit a great actual and realistic video portrayal of patients' perspectives and what they experience. It’s very experiential to allow healthcare providers to ‘see’ through the patient’s point of view. We believe this enforces more positive behaviors and perception towards caring for these patients, instead of simply brushing them off as ‘difficult’.” Says Dr Melvin Chua, Head of Department of General Medicine, Sengkang Health.


The game has been developed by IJsfontein, leader in the Netherlands in the field of applied gaming, in collaboration with the Foundation for Effective Care for the Elderly. The Delirium Experience is available on a licensed basis. More information can be found at . By this summer, the Delirium Experience will be expanded with a teaching package and a test for which accreditation will be obtained.