August 24 – September 2, 2015 Misano Adriatico (Italy). The Patient and Family Association “SOStegno70-Insieme ai ragazzi diabetic”, San Raffaele Hospital, PAL partners and the robot NAO launched the 2015 Diabetes Summer Camp, a fun, cross media, health literacy program for kids with Type1 Diabetes. Medical staff, educators, and researchers along with the kids embraced the camp with enthusiasm. Overall we were able to reach 35 kids!
The summer camp created a critical opportunity for structured activities and training while learning valuable lessons on positive diabetes management from one another. The main objective of the camp experience was to improve knowledge, promote the self-management and healthy behaviors of children and reinforce doctor-young patient’s alliance, in a safe and controlled environment. In addition, we wanted to promote the research involving User Requirements Analysis to elicit technological and functional requirements of the system, on the basis of expectations and real needs of both final users (families and patients) and expert users (medical staff). Caregivers and children were very enthusiastic to expand their level of knowledge and be shown fun and intuitive tools that effectively support health on a daily basis.
A typical day at the camp involved routine diabetes medical tasks, educational moments, different group activities proposed by the entertainment team such as football, dance, games and the integrated set of activities of the PAL project done by children, researchers and NAO. The NAO robot, with an adaptive internal memory sustained kids through games so that they can learn about the importance of regulating their disease for improved long term quality of life. The Journey map exercise stimulated children to share their experiences in order to understand their needs, difficulties and emotions throughout the daily diabetes management process. The journey map included a “Letter to NAO” in which the children wrote down their wishes related the difficulties discovered on the journey map. The Pal Game consisted of a group activity in which team members addressed a situation or challenge and in some instances could receive a hint from NAO to help solve their situation. A day in the life at camp included a balance of activities while continually being aware of behaviors and circumstances that contribute to best practices that positively affect diabetes.
An action-packed 10 days led by health care professionals included pre and post camp family meetings that allowed caregivers the opportunity to learn up-to-date information on diabetes, research, family dynamics and knowledge discoveries made possible through the camp experience. By programming the PAL system into the camp experience an innovative approach to diabetes management emerged that built a community that was motivated, supported and inspired kids to take charge of their health, now and tomorrow!