Gamified Pediatric Cardiac Care Application

Supporting parents with children suffering from cardiovascular disease through real-time data monitoring, positive motivation and self-mapping.



From our research, we found that cardiovascular disease is far more prevalent in newborns than people might think.


There are three distinct stakeholder groups involved in the process:

Children with
Cardiac Disease


Pediatric Cardiologists

Endure pain, fear, and loneliness from a young age, making them particularly in need of care, support, and empathy.

Take care of their children and often grapple with concerns about potential emergencies and timely rescue of their children.

Routinely assess children's health data and may need more comprehensive daily data to aid in diagnosis and treatment decisions.



We conducted semi-structured interviews with three individuals who, from a very young age, have dealt with cardiac diseases like sinus arrhythmia and congenital heart disease, requiring regular diagnosis. Here are some of their childhood memories.


We distributed 99 targeted questionnaires, 63 of which were sent to people facing heart health problems. Six of them were adolescents under 18.

Our questions covered the following aspects:
1. Basic information of the respondents;
2. Specific process and experience of cardiac treatment in hospital;
3. Acceptance of using health monitoring devices in daily life;
4. Rescue and treatment status when emergency happens.

User Journey Map


Competitor Analysis

By conducting searches using keywords like "cardiac monitoring," "parental care and child monitoring," and "compaign and empathy," we scrutinized 10 distinct products, with the following 3 of them emerging as our primary sources of inspiration.

My Zio


Travel Frog

• Use deep learning algorithms to detect arrhythmia.
• Utilize lightweight and portable hardware.
• Provides personal health logs & medical reports.
• Requires a prescription from physicians and device return after 14 days.
• Emphasizes professionalism but may not be child-friendly or accessible.

• Utilize content monitoring, screen time management, website filtering, and location detection to detect cyberbullying and promptly alert parents when detected.
• Facilitate parental communication with children.
• Create a sense of closeness through the use of a cartoon avatar and vibrant colors.
Balance professionalism and approachability.

• Users take care of the little frog that resides in a cottage, where it eats, packs, and embarks on journeys. They have minimal control over the frog and can only purchase items for it.
• Users enjoy the sense of "parenting".
• Users can form emotional connections with the adorable frog.

Design Opportunity:

Above analysis underscores the scarcity of medical care products tailored
specifically for children with cardiovascular diseases in the market.

Our goal was to create a product that strikes a balance between
professionalism and approachability, with a strong emphasis on
establishing emotional connections with these young patients
through cartoon avatars and gamification.

Pain Points

Each of the three key stakeholders -- children, parents, and pediatric cardiologists -- experiences their respective challenges, and effective communication remains a central concern.

Our Solution

We've created a hardware and software ecosystem to address challenges faced by all three stakeholders:

Children wear a ECG monitor hardware, parents install a software application on their smartphones, and physicians can review a high-quality, actionable report exported from the application.

Hardware - Smart Medal:
A medal-like wearable device for cardiac health data monitoring


Physician prescribes the medal-like ambulatory ECG monitor for children to wear either at home or in the clinic.


Children wear the Zio ambulatory ECG monitor, and the data synchronizes with the mobile app -- HeartWish.


Parents can monitor their children’s cardiac arrhythmias in real-time through the mobile app.


Physician receives a high-quality, actionable report exported from HeartWish, helping them make better treatment decisions.

Software - HeartWish:
A gamified pediatric cardiac care application with carton avatar


Mutual Empathy

Patients find it easier to connect with one another when they share similar experiences. This mutual empathy cultivates a sense of encouragement and companionship, empowering them to grow stronger, braver, and more optimistic in their battle against diseases.


Positive Incentive

The power of external positive encouragement can effectively dispel the fear and shame that children often endure during clinical treatments. Consider your own childhood memories – how often were you uplifted and inspired by the heroes of comic books, urging you to push yourself further in your studies?


Sense of Belonging

Some children with cardiac disease may be stigmatized and even bullied due to their need to wear monitoring devices or their limited participation in group activities. Creating a cartoon avatar that shares their experience can foster a sense of belonging among these children.


Sense of Responsibility

Children's resistance to treatment may often arise from their unawareness of the challenges faced by parents and doctors in providing care. However, assigning tasks that involve caring for their loved ones can help them understand these challenges and encourage greater cooperation.

Storyboard of the Little Raccoon:

We crafted a storyline centered on the empathy of an ailing child. In this narrative, there exists a Little Raccoon residing on another planet, also grappling with severe cardiovascular disease. Parents share the tale of Little Raccoon to foster an emotional connection between the sick child and this character.

The child's heart rate is continuously monitored through hardware, with direct responses from the Little Raccoon. When the child's health declines, so does Little Raccoon's; conversely, as the child improves, Little Raccoon regains health. Motivated by empathy, the child subconsciously begins taking better care of themselves, ensuring timely medication and cooperation with medical treatments. In moments of emergency, Little Raccoon stands by the child's side in the hospital, offering encouragement and optimism.


Software & Hardware Framework

A software and hardware ecosystem that supports children, parents, and pediatric cardiologists at the same time.

Final Prototyping

Daily Health Knowledge Card + ECG Test

Users will receive a knowledge card every day when they open the app. They can choose to save or share it on social media. Afterward, they can perform an ECG test on the home page. Video tutorials are available to guide users on how to use the smart medal effectively.

Dynamic Scenarios

Dynamic scenarios depicting Little Raccoon's daily life can entice children to log in regularly and attend to their virtual pets.

Establich a Daily Treatment Schedule

Parents can assist children in creating and following a daily treatment schedule, encompassing medication intake, exercise routines, and ECG cardiac tests.

Adhering to this schedule allows children to earn medals, a virtual currency within the application, which they can then use to acquire food and equipment for their Little Raccoon.

Emergency Detection

When an emergency is detected, the audio guidance will activate, issuing warnings to parents or other passers-by to provide immediate assistance to the sick child and promptly call for an ambulance. Simultaneously, the GPS system will offer directions to the nearest hospital, ensuring timely access to treatment.

Export a Report

This application allows parents to export their children's daily ECG and health data for review and treatment planning by doctors.


1. Conducting a comprehensive competitor analysis can be highly beneficial. The process of researching and interacting with related or successful products is not only informative but also enjoyable. Beyond studying a product's functionality and interface, delving into its underlying logic, particularly in terms of how it captures users' psychology, is of paramount importance.

2. Personally, I'm a devoted fan of Travel Frog, and I've read articles that analyze its sudden surge in popularity in China. Many users expressed feeling like elderly parents waiting for their froggy companion to return home, which led them to frequently open the app to check for updates. This research has enlightened me to the fact that people can develop emotional connections with animated characters living in their mobile devices.

In conclusion, this UX case study has been enlightening and fulfilling. It has underscored the importance of thorough competitor analysis and the value of comprehending how a product establishes a psychological connection with users. As I advance in my UX design journey, I am committed to applying these lessons, aiming to develop products that not only address functional needs but also deeply resonate with users.

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