AN interactive “storybook” style app is making trips to Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH) less daunting for children.
Kidz@GCU Hospital allows youngsters to follow the journey of six characters through a hospital visit and learn about procedures such as plaster casts and stitches, as well as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans.
Created by four Griffith University students, the app also aims to familiarise children with hospital sites, sounds and the medical staff they will meet along the way.
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Gold Coast Health Director of Paediatrics Associate Professor Susan Moloney said the concept had been so well received that more tablets had been ordered for the Children’s Outpatient Unit to allow a greater number of patients to access the app while waiting for appointments.
“Children can often be nervous when visiting hospital but this modern approach to breaking down barriers is proving a real winner with not only children but their parents,” she said.
“It’s one thing to tell an anxious child what their visit might involve but for them to be able to access that information through the technology they love is wonderful. We embraced the concept as soon as it was proposed but the finished product has exceeded our expectations.”
Co-creator Darcelle Hinze said it was a joy to know an app that was built as part of a third-year project was making a difference in the real world.
“Although GCUH was yet to open, Gold Coast Health provided us with extensive access to its plans, which allowed us to replicate the look of the Children’s Outpatient Unit,” she said.
“That means children using the app in the waiting room are actually looking at the room they are sitting in, which also plays a major role in easing their tensions.”
Kidz@GCU Hospital won the Tertiary Undergraduate Student category at this year’s Queensland iAwards, with the team of Ms Hinze, Chelsea McGuinness, Belinda Rex and Ashley Burns to contest the national awards later this month.
The free application is available for both Android and iOS devices and can be found in the Google Play and App Store. An expanded version with more interactivity and games is already in production.
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