Amy’s Serious Games for Serious Healthcare

Do you trust your healthcare professionals are providing you with optimal care? Are you safe? Do you feel comfortable knowing that 1.7 medical errors occur each day in the ICU, and many critically ill patients suffer a potentially life-threatening error at some point during their stay (Camiré et al., 2009)? The most frequent errors in healthcare are errors in the dose, wrong rate, wrong preparation technique, physicochemical incompatibility, wrong administration technique and wrong time (Camiré et al., 2009). 

Computerized health records and order entry can alleviate many of these issues, which is the focus of Calgary-based Patient Care Information Systems. But don’t get too comfortable with the idea of e-records. Errors still occur as e-record applications are operated by humans and regardless of how well an application functions, the application is only as good as the person operating it.

There is a solution! An online simulation game environment that permits clinical staff to practise using the applications in a safe environment that will increase efficiency and skills once users have access to real patient records.

Join the initiative to make healthcare safer and more accountable.

YouTube Preview Image


(Please note that the audio is set quite high, so you might want to adjust the volume. As well, I acknowledge that this video is longer than 30 minutes. However, this is only because I could not add my own audio and I had to use AT&T’s text to speech demo. I was able to read it much quicker that the computerized voice can, plus I sounded better. Unfortunately, I have learned not to leave my mic where my kids can access it. Lesson learned.)


Here is the full pitch:


1 jennie wong { 11.30.09 at 2:45 pm }


Your video is not coming up for me. I’m not sure what is wrong but it doesn’t play. I have tried it a couple of times already.


2 Erica T { 11.30.09 at 6:33 pm }

Same for me. When I click on play, it says “This is a private video…please make sure you accept the sender’s friend request.” Maybe there are some privacy settings that need to be removed?

3 Amy Frank { 11.30.09 at 7:27 pm }

Thanks for the messages. I changed the privacy setting, so hopefully it works now. I thought it might still work if I sent the address.

4 jennie wong { 11.30.09 at 8:17 pm }


The video does play now but I can’t find your pitch. I like the majority of your video but there is a lag period at the end of just a black screen. Unless you meant to do this for the dismal outlook of health care, I think the elevator pitch is excellent. I would be interested in seeing the rest of your presentation.


5 Erik Van Dusen { 11.30.09 at 8:21 pm }

I’d love to learn more. Health care training is a huge market. Will you be sharing your entire pitch?

6 Cari Wilson { 11.30.09 at 8:24 pm }

Like everyone else, I’d like to hear more! I think serious gaming has potential in the healthcare market. Is this something already being used in Alberta, or something new you are proposing?


7 Amy Frank { 11.30.09 at 8:48 pm }

Hi everyone,
I feel a little disorganized. I hadn’t realized that the full pitch should be included, and then I couldn’t figure out how to do it at first. I added it to, so the formatting is off, but all the content is there.

Thanks for your patience.

8 Tony D { 11.30.09 at 9:09 pm }

Hi Amy

I think the serious games application for health care is definetely a “no-brainer” in the future of trianing health care professionals. I would be very interested in seeing an example of the software in use in your presentation. Sounds like there is real potential here, is something like this already happening in Alberta that you are aware of?

9 jennie wong { 12.01.09 at 7:14 am }

Hi Amy,

I’m glad you got things in order. Your full pitch is working now and linking to Google docs.


10 Amy Frank { 12.01.09 at 7:52 am }

Hi Tony,
I agree that simulation in healthcare is a no-brainer, but our situation is a little different. We currently have e-learning modules that contain some interactivity, but not games. I know that the university and colleges are using computer simulation in teaching medical procedure, but there is nothing related to e-records application and practicing the safe handling of order, admissions, and personal information. In Alberta, there is a real drive to lead in the e-records initiative. Stephen Duckett, CEO, has already declared his support for e-learning in Alberta. However, we are still in the process of merging 12 different IT departments, so changes won’t be happening overnight.


11 Jay Dixon { 12.01.09 at 7:34 pm }

This is a good idea. I was listening to CBC this afternoon and the discussion was about a new Ipod app that is supporting health care professionals.

Your written work is well researched, clear, and easy to follow. The pitch on the blog was supported nicely with pictures too which caught me. The topic area that you chose to pursue for this assignment connects well to current issues that have also been getting quite a bit of media. Health care is a topic that crosses across the generations. You “hook” in the pitch of question gets the audience thinking about things themselves. Your rationale is sound and market readiness keeps me interested. You mention in your self reflection that you lack evidence of supporting games in education. I agree however the amount of references, and quotes throughout the proposal seems to mask this concern. Overall your pitch spraks my interest and provides a good “hook” and is clear. Now that I’m interested I’d like to see you pitch it to the Dragon’s Den on tv 🙂

Thanks for sharing Amy!

12 Iris Chan { 12.02.09 at 12:44 am }

The pitch is really dismal. I LOVE IT! It’s very persuasive and healthcare is something that all audiences can relate to. A veyr engaging hook and the market is definitely out there. The computerized voice made it even more artificial. I am definitely “hooked” and I would like to delve further into this matter.

13 Iris Chan { 12.02.09 at 5:44 am }

Review of Frank’s Proposal

Healthcare is a common concern among the people and your proposal addresses the need for simulations as training. The references you make to support your proposal strengthens the demand for a gaming environment to lessen the errors in medical staff. The idea of changing the name and getting rid of the “game” label is an efficient strategy at trying to reduce the controversy of using “fun” to train staff for a “serious” matter.
Electronic records and the maintenance of such records is a very exciting idea because it can really help to monitor a patient’s health status in an efficient manner without digging through paperwork or trying to locate missing records. As your pitch mentioned, the artwork would be kept at a minimal cost, but I wonder if this “game” could be marketable on the market for general audiences. Would a game investor be also interested in this as a venture? With recent conversations between my colleagues, many of them are engaging in games that are simulating different occupations. Perhaps, it would be worthwhile if a post-secondary institution (as part of their program) would fund this venture. Rather than having taxpayers footing the bill, can the financial pressures be undertaken by an educational institution?
A part of a successful serious gaming experience is the ability of the “artwork” to imitate the authenticity of the situation and in order to make it genuine, the visual aspect is quite important. What would be appropriate in this situation without going over budget but not compromising the visual delivery of such training as game-like?

14 Marjorie del Mundo { 12.02.09 at 7:48 am }

Amy, your pitch is well done and this idea would work well in the health care system where it is much needed. There are so many patient errors happening and a game simulation could help minimize the number of occurrences. In your pitch, you mention that unit managers would not want health professionals playing games when they are supposed to be helping patients but I think this would be good for any professional training days. I know the game is in the proposal stage right now but would be nice to see screenshots or storyboards of what the game could look like. If you need a design team to help see this project through, my proposed design firm can assist!


15 Noah Burdett { 12.02.09 at 8:08 pm }

Hi Amy,

Your pitch is what I would deem to be very professional. I found that you were are able to explain the context and thus set up the need for your product, a serious game/training scenario.

You were also able to demonstrate that the support for the project in terms of funding class time and sufficient training was inadequate. However, my first reaction to that is that the online course should be remodeled not necessarily that a serious game is needed to fix the gap. Yes it would provide a chance to fix the problem but when one sees numbers starting at 500,000 my pocket book starts to freeze up a little bit. But I do have a suggestion a growth potential idea.

If you were able to make a game that had the basic functions but the players could be changed could the general content be changed to meet perhabs the need of teachers, boarder guards, prisons, police dealing with e-sources as well? If it could I think game builders would be eager to build the site and help out.

I would invest, if it the product could meet the needs of other industries struggling with similar problems.

Again a great presentation you should send it to the Alberta Ministry of health and charge a consulting fee to the game builder that builds the game.


If it could apply to multiple fields entering e-sourcing,

16 Erica T { 12.02.09 at 9:33 pm }

This is my formal review of your proposal.

Your elevator pitch is very informative and draws the investor in. It provides all the details needed. It is longer than the 30 second elevator ride, but I suppose that the product is intriguing enough that the investor might hear you out. The music is a little sad, but maybe that is because of the movie it is associated with and the memories that invokes. Perhaps it hits home the sadness of the healthcare system and how important this product is. The text also helps to set the context of the video.

The full presentation, although all text, is very informative and easy to read. It is very clearly laid out with:
Opportunity – you clearly describe the deficiency and how your product can solve it.
The Proposal and Context of Alberta Patient Care Info System are clear. The business model subtly suggests that the cost might fall to taxpayers. Do I read that correctly? In Market readiness, I was lost in the description of Wave 1/2/3 since I do not know what “wave” is.
The product rationale is convincing as is the Risk and Rewards section. In the self-evaluation your clearly summarize your risk assessment.

As an EVA I would seriously consider investing in this product as the details of the pitch are very clearly laid out and there are not many questions left unanswered.

I would put this in my top 3 list of investments, for sure.

I would need clarification on the funding by taxpayers, because in this current economy, that would be viewed very negatively by the public, and drawing any further negative attention to the Health Care Business would only hinder the success of this product, and therefore the profit margins of the investors. If I were convinced that this would not impart a negative connotation or a large burden on the taxpayer, I would invest without hesitation.

17 Lorne Upton { 12.03.09 at 8:32 pm }

Hello Amy,

It is very clear from your presentation that you have expert knowledge of the healthcare industry, and your pitch has captured my attention. You have provided the prospective investor with a great deal of important information–very persuasive. Thank you.

18 Colin Cheng { 12.04.09 at 2:47 pm }


Thank you for taking the time to pitch you business venture. From my understanding of the assignment, I am now to decide solely from your elevator pitch, whether this is a venture that I would like to delve further into. As I only have three out of ten proposals to select from, it is unfortunate that I will have to pass on this venture for the following reasons:

* although this may seem a trite trivial, a catchy name can carry a lot of weight. I’m not sure if the actual name for your product/venture is “Serious Games for Serious Healthcare” but it is one which I feel lacks marketability
* while I made allowances for the longer than usual video play due to the reasons that you cited, it was truly a little long to listen had it been an elevator pitch. The music was very traumatic and added a great deal to the video but then it kept going and I was left watching a blank screen for an additional minute and a quarter
* the images were excellent and portrayed an accurate picture of what the product was intended for

19 Ana Cecilia Tagliapietra { 12.04.09 at 5:48 pm }

Great pitch! You caught my attention with the use of concrete (real) information regarding health issues and problems.

20 dockat { 12.04.09 at 6:11 pm }

Hi Amy, I took the bait and went to the full pitch jsut to satisfy my curiosity as this is in my area. At the end though I am sorry to say the honest evaluation of lack of proven efficacy and the use of the word “games” made methink I might shy away as an EVA for an investor.
I had problems with the pre-pitch also with black screen but appreciated a very thorough pitch that waited at the other end in the full one.
Thanks for your hard work in this.

21 Eveline Yu { 12.04.09 at 6:51 pm }

Hi Amy, this is a great pitch. I think that the images, the music, and the voice (albeit computerized) worked well together. However, it does go over the 30-second (not minutes 🙂 Thank gosh!) but I really wanted to finish listening to it. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the black screen was not part of the pitch and stared at it waiting for the rest of the pitch to come up.

Your pitch is informative and discussed a serious issue that definitely needs addressing. But unfortunately, the “game” factor in the title with a “serious healthcare” issue did not work for me. I will come back to look at the full pitch – but unfortunately, I will probably not choose this as one of my 3 investments.
Thanks for sharing your hard work in this project.

22 Barrie Carter { 12.04.09 at 9:26 pm }

Hello Amy:

Because I am limited to three investment opportunities only, I have to place yours in the next three.

Indeed, I am fascinated by your pitch, for healthcare is important to me, as it is for most, if not all. When it comes to healthcare (and education), I am always concerned.

As an investor/venture capitalist, however, I am also concerned about government interference and bureaucracy, for governments move relatively slowly when it comes to innovations and to advancements.

Yes, there are exceptions, but they are few and far between, which is concerning to patient or impatient investors, or investors with high or low risk tolerance. I am an impatient investor with low risk tolerance, which means that I want to make a quick buck with little risk, making investing challenging for me. But, I have been successful so far.

As such, I would be taking a big risk with this venture, even though I suspect that it will be successful, for there are many investors who would jump at this investment opportunity.

In sum, I enjoyed reviewing your presentation. Regarding the venture, it is only a matter of time before a ROI becomes evident.



23 Amy Frank { 12.05.09 at 7:31 pm }

Hi all,

Thanks so much for all of your reviews. The concerns listed in some of your posts are very valid, and issues I face at work when we are trying to get funding for our projects. Yes, Barrie, because we are government, change does not happen quickly. After reviewing so many other pitches, I agree, a name and a demonstration of the art would have probably made this pitch stronger.

In regards to my elevator pitch, I know that the black screen is distracting and I was disappointed with it. However, I just downloaded a new program (Premiere Elements), and I was struggling to figure out how it worked. I actually started the presentation in Captivate, at work with a mic, but I ran into trouble finishing there, thought I could carry on at home, and nothing worked. So, I am not trying to make excuses, but at least everyone can know that it wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to turn out either. Eveline, I know it was long, and I didn’t like it like that either. I promise, when I practiced saying it, I did it in 30 seconds. 🙂

Anyway, I really appreciate your responses and insight. This has been a fun process.

All the best,

24 Ammar Al-Attiyat { 12.06.09 at 3:04 pm }

Hi Amy,

Excellent work you did.

This is not a formal EVA feedback, but what I felt while reviewing your work that it’s more of a Scholar Essay, though an excellent one that I learned a lot from. I liked the ICT Waves classification you raised. I also agree with your concern about tax payers impression of “gaming” project, makes me wonder if I consider the famous TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” a game or a knowledge quest?!! , I think if you add to your venture a good marketing/awareness campaign about the benefits of your project/venture then it might help overcoming that risk.

Good luck : )

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