Number 49 in our countdown of '70 Ways Art Improves Our Health' highlights how combining art with new technology can transform care for younger people...

A long stay in hospital can be unpleasant for any of us. As adults, our experiences often result in stress and anxiety.

But for a child or young person, who may not fully understand why they are receiving complex or painful procedures, their experiences can be of confusion, loneliness and fear.

In 2016, researchers at the Sint-Lucas University College of Art and Design in Antwerp began a four-year project combining art and with new technologies in interactive games and environments to reduce these negative effects.

The researchers are working on numerous approaches to transform the care environment for young people, such as an interactive walls and floors, even an artificial intelligence, which could be integrated into existing play and therapy sessions.

While technologies to treat physical illness continue to improve rapidly, we also have all these emotional states that we need to care for.

Ludivine Lechat, researcher

Although similar art and technology could be used for adult care in the future, the focus on younger patients is due to their existing familiarity with interactive and multimedia technologies. You can see similar projects already in action in places such as the Royal London Hospital.

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