Journal of Medical Systems

, 41:138 | Cite as

A Mapping Study on Mobile Games for Patients of Chronic Diseases

  • Kévin Cardoso de Sá
  • Márcio Garcia Martins
  • Cristiano André da CostaEmail author
  • Jorge Luis Victoria Barbosa
  • Rodrigo da Rosa Righi
Mobile & Wireless Health
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mobile & Wireless Health


There is a growing interest of using technologies to propose solutions for healthcare issues. One of such issues is the incidence of chronic diseases, which are responsible for a considerable proportion of worldwide mortality. It is possible to prevent the development of such diseases using tools and methods that instruct the population. To achieve this, mobile games provide a powerful environment for teaching different subjects to user, without them actively knowing that they are learning new concepts. Despite the growing interest of using mobile games in healthcare, more specifically by patients with chronic diseases, in the best of our knowledge there are no studies that address the current research being published in the area. To close this gap, we carried out a systematic mapping study to synthesize an overview of the area. Five databases were searched and more than 1200 studies were analyzed and filtered. Among them, 17 met the the inclusion and exclusion criteria defined in this work. The results show that there is still room for research in this area, since the studies focus on a younger audience rather than proposing solutions for all ages. Furthermore, the number of chronic conditions being addressed is still small, obesity and diabetes are prevalent. Besides, the full capacity of game features that foster learning through games are not being employed, the majority of games proposed by the articles encompass less than half of these features.


Chronic diseases Mobile games Systematic review Digital games Mobile health Healthcare 



The authors would like to thank to the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ) and to the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) for supporting the development of this work.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The first author declares that he has no conflict of interest. The second author declares that he has no conflict of interest. The third author declares that he has no conflict of interest. The fourth author declares that he has no conflict of interest. The fifth author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


This study was funded by National Council for Scientific and Technological Development - CNPq (grant number 310378/2014-1) and Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level Personnel - CAPES (PROSUP Program). Ethical approval: This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidade do Vale do Rio dos SinosSão LeopoldoBrazil

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