Gamification and Artificial Intelligence during COVID-19: Case Studies in Health and Education

by Carmen Bueno Muñoz (Author) Luis R. Murillo Zamorano (Author) José Ángel López Sánchez (Author)
©2022 Monographs 130 Pages


The health emergency caused by COVID-19 has been a global challenge. During this period, it was necessary to quickly develop solutions that were able to cope with the pandemic and help mitigate the effects that the new coronavirus was causing in many sectors. This book analyzes how gamification and artificial intelligence (AI) have been used during the COVID-19 pandemic in health and education. To this end, a review of the main applications of gamification and AI during this period is made. We also analyze four cases framed in health care and education in which both resources, gamification and AI, are combined and their usefulness in the context characterized by COVID-19 is analyzed. Finally, some of the ethical issues surrounding gamification and AI in this scenario are examined.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the authors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Gamification during the COVID-19 crisis
  • 2.1. Introduction
  • 2.2. Areas of application during COVID-19
  • 2.2.1. Health
  • Patient management
  • Contact tracing
  • Physical activity
  • Training and awareness
  • 2.2.2. Education
  • Gamified experiences, the results and areas of knowledge
  • Gamified educational platforms
  • 2.2.3. Other
  • 3. Artificial intelligence during the COVID-19 crisis
  • 3.1. Introduction
  • 3.2. Areas of application of AI to COVID-19
  • 3.2.1. Health
  • Prediction and monitoring
  • Patient management
  • Diagnosis and prognosis
  • Drugs and vaccines
  • 3.2.2. Education
  • Areas of application
  • Barriers and digital transformation process
  • 3.2.3. Other
  • Social media and misinformation
  • 4. Gamification and artificial intelligence applications during the COVID-19 crisis
  • 4.1. Introduction
  • 4.2. Applications in health
  • 4.2.1. DreamLab: Corona-AI
  • DreamLab: Corona-AI during the COVID-19
  • Gamification and AI in DreamLab: Corona-AI
  • 4.2.2. uMore app
  • uMore during the COVID
  • Gamification and AI in uMore
  • 4.3. Applications in education
  • 4.3.1. Century
  • Century during COVID-19
  • Gamification and AI in century
  • 4.3.2. ELSA Speak
  • ELSA Speak during COVID-19
  • Gamification and AI in ELSA Speak
  • 5. Ethical issues in gamification and artificial intelligence during the COVID-19 crisis
  • 5.1. Introduction
  • 5.2. Digital divide
  • 5.3. Transparency
  • 5.4. Privacy
  • 5.5. Legal issues
  • 6. Conclusions and final reflections
  • Acknowledgments
  • References

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1. Introduction

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, by the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom, an unprecedented crisis has been unleashed (World Health Organization, 2020). Measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, such as facility closures, social distancing and home confinement, have forced a large number of activities and processes to shift to digital platforms, accelerating the digital transformation of all sectors (Fletcher and Griffiths, 2020; Weil and Murugesan, 2020). Therefore, it is not surprising that many of the projects aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 and mitigating its effects have taken place through digital means. During the pandemic, mobile applications (apps) and online platforms have been used to find solutions to help people adapt to the new circumstances and speed up the return to normality.

One of the sectors that have been most affected by the novel coronavirus is health care. The pandemic has required scientists and doctors worldwide to work quickly to advance the knowledge about COVID-19 and discover effective drugs and vaccines. Thanks to digital media, research can be conducted more quickly by immediately connecting professionals from different parts of the world and facilitating knowledge sharing (Cho et al., 2020; Masuda et al., 2021).

The pandemic has also posed a challenge to health systems. Hospitals have become overcrowded, and consequently, the quality of care for patients with other pathologies has decreased (Kretchy et al., 2021; Legido-Quigley et al., 2020). In this context, offering digital health care services can alleviate the burden on health care professionals and improve the quality of face-to-face care for patients in health care centers (Willems et al., 2021).

Another sector that has been directly affected by COVID-19 and, more precisely, by the measures to contain the spread of the virus, is education. Most educational institutions worldwide closed their doors during the onset of the pandemic, affecting more than 1.5 billion students (UNESCO, 2020), which has forced the adoption of methodologies based on digital media to conduct the teaching-learning process virtually.

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This book addresses the use of two resources within the applications and digital platforms used during the pandemic in the aforementioned sectors: gamification and artificial intelligence (AI). Gamification is a design technique that seeks to enhance systems and create more engaging experiences that resemble those provided by games (Hassan and Hamari, 2020; Zainuddin et al., 2020). Gamification aims to motivate individuals and encourage them to engage in certain behavior (Feng et al., 2020; Kalogiannakis et al., 2021; Putz et al., 2020). This technique is growing, and two of its main areas of application are health care and education (Klock et al., 2020; Koivisto and Hamari, 2019; Swacha, 2021; Trinidad et al., 2021).

AI refers to the ability of machines to perceive, understand, make decisions, act and comprehend (Fosso Wamba et al., 2021; Mondal, 2020). AI is present in our daily lives through voice assistants, chatbots, and multiplatform content and product recommendation systems. AI has already been employed in the fight against previous viruses such as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV and holds great potential to help combat COVID-19 (Bansal et al., 2020).

Given this context, this book aims to analyze the use of gamification and AI in the health and educational fields during the pandemic. Thus, a review of the main applications of gamification and AI during this period is carried out, as well as an analysis of four cases in which gamification and AI are combined and their usefulness in the context of COVID-19 is characterized and examines some of the ethical issues surrounding gamification and IA during this period.

This book is structured as follows. After this introduction, which corresponds to Chapter 1, Chapter 2 focuses on the use of gamification during the period characterized by the new coronavirus. More precisely, the main applications of gamification in the context of COVID-19 in the health and educational fields are studied, as well as other relevant applications in sectors other than those previously mentioned. Chapter 3 focuses in a similar way on the use of AI, mainly in the health and educational fields.

Chapter 4 examines the application of gamification and AI during the pandemic through the study of four case studies. Two of these cases, DreamLab: Corona-AI and uMore, are framed in the health care environment, while two, Century and ELSA Speak, are in the educational field. ←12 | 13→Specifically, DreamLab: Corona-AI is an investigation into the potential effect of molecules present in food and drugs on the disease caused by the new coronavirus, which uses gamification, AI and distributed computing. uMore is a mental health app created during the pandemic to help manage anxiety and stress during COVID-19. uMore is based on AI to offer personalized recommendations to its users and encourages the use of the app through gamification.

Century is a gamified educational platform that combines learning science, AI and neuroscience and has provided free access to its services to support teachers and students in this period of uncertainty. ELSA Speak is a gamified app aimed at individuals whose native language is not English. ELSA Speak uses speech recognition to detect and correct pronunciation errors made by the user. Chapter 4 discusses the role that these four apps have played during the pandemic and how gamification and AI are combined in them.

Chapter 5 discusses some of the ethical issues affecting gamification and IA in the context of the pandemic. Finally, Chapter 6 presents the conclusions and final reflections reached through writing this book.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2022 (January)
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2022. 130 pp.

Biographical notes

Carmen Bueno Muñoz (Author) Luis R. Murillo Zamorano (Author) José Ángel López Sánchez (Author)

Carmen Bueno Muñoz is a PhD student at the University of Extremadura (Spain). Her research interests include digital transformation of the economy and new marketing trends. Luis R. Murillo Zamorano is an associate professor at the Department of Economics of the University of Extremadura (Spain) and the head of research of the AEDIMARK R&D group at the University of Extremadura (Spain). His current research interests include digital transformation, gamification, health economics, and active learning in higher education. José Ángel López Sánchez is an associate professor at the University of Extremadura (Spain). His research interests include business marketing, organizational learning, innovation, value creation, marketing strategy, and distribution channels.


Title: Gamification and Artificial Intelligence during COVID-19: Case Studies in Health and Education
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132 pages