Personalised Gaming

The outcome from surgical and medical procedures has improved dramatically in recent years. But, there are only a limited number of tools available for teaching us about the actual risk of therapies based on evidence, and which are based on factors specific to ourselves. GetWell Games wants to change this by integrating clinical information into personalised mobile games for the public, patients, families and medical professionals. Our ultimate aim is to make learning about healthcare fun and to help people reduce their risk of complications.

Games have been brilliantly funded by Innovate UK and supported by BMJ after winning the consumer health, digital innovation.

Without their input, this would not have been possible. We really hope you enjoy Risk Runner and please get in contact if you would like to leave a comment, if you have ideas for the game or if you would like to get involved!


The Getwell Games team.


Health Data

Hospital episode statistics (HES)

HES is freely available data containing details of all admissions, outpatient appointments and A&E attendances at NHS hospitals in England. This data is collected during a patient’s time at hospital and is submitted to allow hospitals to be paid for the care they deliver. HES data is also designed for use in non-clinical purposes. However, RiskRunner never uses patient specific or patient identifiable data. Therefore if you have had a hernia operation, we have no data about your specific treatment.

Quality Care Commission (CQC)

The CQC are the independent regulator of health and social care in England. This in-patient survey looked at the experiences of over 62,000 people who were admitted to an NHS hospital in 2013. This had a response rate of 49% and involved patients who were 16 years or older from September 2013 to January 2014.

Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS)

PROMs measures health gain in patients undergoing hip replacement, knee replacement, varicose vein and groin hernia surgery in England, based on responses to questionnaires before and after surgery. Again, this is high level freely accessible data, and RiskRunner does not have access to patient specific data.

Treatment Evidence

We use Randomised Control Trials (RCTs) that have shown evidence for health behaviours in the treatment of specific types of treatment. From these we are able to identify ‘gameable’ factors that we can incorporate into the development.

The Team


We were proudly sponsored by Innovate UK. Getwell Media were very excited to win the Digital Innovation, Clinical Excellence award. You can read more about this here

As part of this win, we were lucky enough to be partnered with the BMJ group who have partnered with us to help develop this game.

We have also worked closely with the amazingly talented Plucky who helped with character and logo design. Please check out their facebook page and show real!

RiskRunner - The Hernia

RiskRunner: SurgeryTM is a game about surgical risk based on real world health data from your local hospital. Guide heroes Pat and Patty Slide through their treatment for a hernia. Score points and collect rewards by keeping Pat and Patty healthy and by getting them out of hospital quickly without any complications! Unlock hospital levels with more difficult data and invite your friends to see who is the best surgeon. You may even learn how to have a safer hernia repair!

Play the game now below (you may need to install the Unity player).

Controls: Use forward and back buttons, or A and D to move. Use space to jump. Use mouse button to select.

This is a web version of the Beta 1 app. Perfectly playable and shows the main aims.. THE NEW UNITY RISK RUNNER WILL BE HERE IN WEBGL WHEN FINISHED.

1. Hospital data - you are able to select the hospital you will be treated on. This is based on actual data taken from a REAL world hospital. Hospitals local to you will be free to play and automatically presented to you, but if you want to play other levels, you will have to practice before you can unlock them!

2. Whole patient journey - Try and get Pat or Patty right to the very end of their treatment. Along the way, you will learn about some of the major steps in having treatment such as:

a. Anaesthetic assessment
b. Day surgery
c. Open Surgery and Key Hole Surgery and
d. Recovery and hospital discharge.

3. Intra-operative gaming: Although we do not attempt to re-create or simulate surgery, you do have have to guide Pat and Patty through the operation and make sure they do well!
4.  Rewards - The healthier you are the lower your risk, the more hospital levels you will unlock and the further you will proceed.
5. Collect health rewards and skills bonuses to climb the leaderboard and beat your friends. Who will be the best surgeon?
6. Education - Learn about how to have a safer and faster operation.