Marlies Schijven

Professor Marlies Schijven (born in 1969) researches the field of mHealth, Simulation and Serious Gaming. On the 28th of October 2013; she was the first surgeon livestreaming an abdominal operation to YouTube directly using GoogleGlass. She is program leader and EU lead researcher of the OR Black Box™ system.

Prof. Schijven is known for her publications in the area of surgery (achalasia and reflux disease), m-health, e-health, wearable technology, medical education and simulation technology.  She is an expert in the area of virtual reality medical simulation, serious gaming, validation studies and validation processes; processes; and guides many PhD residents on these topics.   

Gaming and simulations can engage surgeons in ways that traditional medical education does not, says Professor Marlies Schijven who has shown the power of play in improving surgical skills. As a surgeon, game developer and app inventor – among other things – she is also on the cutting edge of using wearable technologies in the operating room and was the first person to live-stream abdominal surgery on YouTube via Google Glass. What is serious gaming? Serious gaming uses the principles of playful technology and the power of play to get an educational message across without people feeling as though they are being taught. The key is to wrap educational content into the game, in such a way that it is not perceived as ‘homework’. How can gaming and simulations help surgeons? This approach can be used to train anyone - but it has great potential in teaching surgical skills. It is very important to have game designers involved in developing the games otherwise it will just become another boring e-learning module or tedious task. I have shown that, compared to traditional training methods, well-designed simulations and games actually make for better, more competent surgeons. How did you become interested in working with game designers? For me, it was natural. Before I studied medicine, I studied for some time in a design academy so I can pretty much understand the way designers think and I value their approach. Good serious games are developed by good designers in collaboration with content experts. You have also been experimenting with wearable devices in the operating theatre. What do these technologies do for surgeons? To give one example, you often need to control computers or other devices whilst performing surgery. If this means typing on a keyboard or touching a mouse, you would have to...