Call for Papers: IEEE SeGAH Annual Conference — “Serious Games and Applications for Health”

IEEE SeGAH Annual Conference — “Serious Games and Applications for Health”

JMIR Serious Games (Editor-in-Chief: Nabil Zary, MD, PhD) and the Guest Editors welcome submissions to a special theme issue examining “Serious Games and Applications for Health” to coincide with the annual SeGAH conference.

Games have been used for many years to train, develop, explore, and understand human behavior, as well as for entertainment. Serious games have inherited this responsibility. While they have lived up to expectations in many areas, including military simulation and vehicle control, they still have a long way to go in other up-and-coming areas, namely in health care. A considerable number of research groups and companies have presented promising health care games and simulations, many with relevant results in fields such as medication and chronic condition management, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Recent developments in virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and big data have paved the way for new and disruptive gamification approaches with greater potential impact on health care services and patient well-being. This theme issue will allow researchers to present new serious games and applications using emerging technologies that tackle old and new problems across many different health domains. 

In the call, we invite the submission of original papers or reviews (see JMIR Article Types) about high-quality work on the discussion and sharing of knowledge, experimental work, and scientific and technical results related to state-of-the-art solutions and technologies on serious games and applications for health and health care, as well as the demonstration of advanced products and technologies.

We particularly welcome research on topics in the following areas, among others:

• Simulation for health care 

• Virtual environments and virtual patients in health care 

• VR therapy 

• Games for rehabilitation 

• Exercising and active living 

• Exergames 

• Cognitive games 

• Human-computer interface 

• Biofeedback/neurofeedback through gaming 

• Brain-computer interface-controlled games for health 

• Artificial intelligence in health care

• Assistive technologies 

• Accessibility 

• Serious games as diagnostic tools 

• Game design and development 

• Clinical training through games 

• Health care professionals’ training 

• Game-based learning 

• Public health education 

• Patient education 

The annual IEEE International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (IEEE SeGAH) — to be held in Athens, Greece, on August 28-30, 2023 — will be an excellent opportunity for sharing knowledge across the community. We believe that this theme issue provides the authors of SeGAH a chance to reach even broader audiences. Therefore, we invite all authors to submit extended versions of their papers to this theme issue. 

The article processing fee (APF) is discounted by 20% for this theme issue. (The APF for JMIR Serious Games will be US $2000. This is a discount of US $500.) 

All articles submitted to this theme issue will be shared and published rapidly through the following mechanisms:

  • All peer-reviewed research publications in this theme issue are immediately and permanently made open access. This is the standard for all titles within the JMIR Publications portfolio.

  • JMIR Preprints are immediately available after submission (with DOI); authors should select the preprint option on submission. Preprints already submitted to medRxiv can be transmitted to JMIR Serious Games via the M2J interface. 

How to submit:

  • Visit JMIR Serious Games and submit by selecting “Theme Issue: IEEE SeGAH Annual Conference: Serious Games and Applications for Health” in the “Section” drop-down list.

  • Authors interested in extending their conference papers must be aware that the final submitted manuscript must be reworked to meet JMIR submission guidelines. Submissions must include a minimum of 50% new content and not exceed 30% existing content from the proceedings paper.

  • See the article How do I submit to a theme issue? in our Knowledge Base and consult our Instructions for Authors.

  • Submissions from the 2022 and 2023 conferences are eligible.

Please direct questions regarding this theme issue to the JMIR Serious Games Editorial Team at

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: December 31, 2023 11:59 EST.

Submissions not reviewed or accepted for publication in this JMIR theme issue may be offered cascading peer review or transfer to other JMIR journals, according to standard JMIR Publications policies. 

Guest Editors: 

Nuno Dias, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal 

Nuno Dias holds a degree in Industrial Electronic Engineering and Computers from the University of Minho and a PhD in Biomedical Instrumentation from the same university, where he acquired skills in the areas of brain-machine interface, telemetry systems, and biopotential electrodes. He is an Associate Professor at the Superior School of Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, where he is the coordinator of the Master's degree program in Electronic Engineering and Computers and the scientific field of Electronics and Instrumentation. As a researcher, Nuno is an integrated member of the Applied Artificial Intelligence (2Ai) research center and has been working on biosignal processing techniques for application in areas such as epilepsy, neurofeedback for emotional regulation, and recognition of emotions through biopotentials and voice. Since May 2016, Nuno has been the CTO at MindProber, SA.

Nuno Rodrigues, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal 

Nuno Feixa Rodrigues is an Associate Professor of Science and Technology of Programming at the School of Technology of the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado e Ave (EST-IPCA). He was the Director of EST-IPCA and the Digital Games Research Center (DIGARC) between 2011 and 2017.

He graduated in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2003 and obtained a PhD in Computer Engineering in 2009, both at the University of Minho. Between 2009 and 2010, he received a postdoctoral grant for researching programming methods to support the validation of cryptographic software in the European project CACE (Computer Aided Cryptography Engineering).

Between 2019 and 2021, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and General Coordinator of the National Initiative for Digital Skills (INCoDe.2030). During this period, he coordinated several national digital projects of strategic interest, namely the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy and the National Advanced Computing Strategy.

He is currently the Portuguese representative in several international digital forums, namely the OECD Blockchain Expert Policy Advisory Board, the European Commission Digital Single Market Strategic Group, and the OECD Network of AI Experts.

Nuno coordinated and participated in several research projects in different application areas of ​​computer science and digital technologies, having published more than 50 scientific articles and participated in several international scientific committees. His main research interest is the study of human behavior and computing technologies for the design of new systems in real-world settings to improve the quality of everyday life.

João L Vilaça, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal 

João L Vilaça graduated in Industrial Electronics and Computers at the University of Minho, Portugal, in 2004. In 2008, he obtained a PhD in Industrial Electronics from the University of Minho, Guimarães, Portugal. During his PhD thesis, he worked on developing medical devices for automatic modeling/bending of personalized surgical prostheses, and he founded the company iSurgical3D – Spin-off. Besides developing new medical devices for personalized surgical prostheses, he is currently focused on developing new human-machine interfaces based on natural user interfaces and robotic-guided surgery for minimally invasive surgeries. João is presently Director of 2Ai and Pro-President for R&I of the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Portugal.

Duarte Duque, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal 

Duarte Duque (member, IEEE) received a BSc in Industrial Electronic Engineering and a PhD in Computing and Communications Systems from the University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, in 2004 and 2009, respectively. He is currently the Director of the Bachelor’s degree program in Digital Games Development Engineering with the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal; a member of the steering committee of the International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health; a member of the board of the Portuguese Society of Videogame Sciences; and an integrated member of 2Ai. In 2008, he founded the EXVA—Experts in Video Analysis, a spinoff from the University of Minho, a company devoted to research and development in the areas of computer vision and human-machine interaction. His research interests include image processing, computer graphics, and serious games.

Jaime Garcia, UTS Games Studio, Sydney, Australia 

Jaime Garcia is a Senior Lecturer in Games Development at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). His research interests lie in exploring the use of interactive video game technologies as a tool to improve the physical and mental health of older adults. Before joining UTS, Jaime worked as a Software Engineer at Neuroscience Research Australia, primarily designing, developing, and maintaining fall prevention video games and mobile apps for the Falls Balance Injury Research Centre.

He holds a PhD in Software Engineering and Information Systems from UTS and a BSc in Computer Science and Engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali (Colombia).

His research projects include Project NATAL (using exergames to keep young women active during pregnancy), Immersive Audio in Games (with Dolby Australia), CogWorldTravel (a game for the diagnosis of dementia in older adults), the IMMERSE Project (interactive work incorporating live chamber and digital music performance), Project ELAINE (an asynchronous exergame for older adults), Last Island (a computer-aid board game to teach sustainability), the StepKinnection project (a bespoke Kinect game to prevent falls in older adults), and The MobileRehApp (an augmented reality mobile game for ankle sprain rehabilitation). These projects have led to a series of high-quality publications in prestigious international conferences and journals.

Jaime has been twice awarded the Branko Cesnik Award for the best scientific paper in 2012 and 2015. Jaime's work has been profiled by CNET, the Sydney Morning Herald, the 2SER radio station, the Australian Ageing Agenda, the Enquiring Minds Television Show on TVS, and the UTS News Room. During his career, Jaime has also worked on several software engineering projects for companies in the finance and accounting sectors.

Baki Kocaballi, UTS Games Studio, Sydney, Australia 

A Baki Kocaballi is a Lecturer at the School of Computer Science of the University of Technology Sydney, and an Honorary Research Fellow at Macquarie University. He holds a PhD degree in Interaction Design from the University of Sydney. His research is situated within the intersection of artificial intelligence, interaction design, and digital health, with a focus on multimodal and conversational systems. His work has received several academic awards and recognitions, and his research has been published in top-ranking journals.

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