Effective communication by ‘virtual patiënt’

A serious game, developed at the University of Utrecht, helps healthcare professionals communicate more effectively with people with complex problems. This way patients can be helped better. Unique to the game is that the ‘virtual patient’ also shows emotions.

With the serious game ‘Virtual Patient’  health care professionals practice conversations with people who have above-average burden of multiple and complex problems. Unique is this serious game is that the patient responds emotionally to questions that you ask him. The player experiences a ‘tangible’ conversation. “There are more online learning tools to train communication skills but on the level of emotions it often goes wrong,” explains prof. Dr. Johan Jeuring, Professor of Software for Teaching and Learning at the University of Utrecht them. The development of the Virtual Patient is a collaboration between Utrecht care professionals and the bachelor gaming technology at the Utrecht University . Students undertake a ‘Game Project’, a practical assignment for a real client, forming an independent development team. The further development of the virtual patient is also performed by student teams.


Start project: January 2014
Status: active
Goal: knowledge transfer and collaboration
Role Utrecht Holdings: support in knowledge transfer and business development
Contact: Mirko Lukacs