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User Experience & Gamification Improves Pain Management for Pediatric Cancer Patients

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Research team created the Pain Squad App for cancer patients aged 8-18 to track their pain before, during and after procedures or treatment.


Pivot joined the project to redesign the user experience, improve the gamification algorithm and to add new, user-friendly features to suit the very specific target audience. With limited access to our user groups due to research and privacy constraints, we were able to gather user feedback at strategic points throughout the process (moodboards and visual user interface design).


With iterative testing and gathering of feedback throughout the process, young patients now love the app’s playful look-and-feel and updated gameplay. The new features gives kids real-time strategies to better manage and cope with their pain while allowing nurses to better monitor and care for their patients.

This app proves that this new way of interacting with pediatric patients to gather usable information for better treatment is possible and could be critical to complete the circle of care in the healthcare experience.

We were so impressed with Pivot’s work. It’s a great example of how we can partner to design ‘out of the box solutions’ to improve health care for vulnerable youth.”

Nurse Project Lead, The Hospital for Sick Children Associate Professor