Calming children when drawing blood using breath-based biofeedback

Tobias Sonne, Tim Merritt, Paul Marshall, Johanne J. Lomholt, Jörg Müller, Kaj Grønbæk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

14 Citations (Scopus)


Blood sampling is a common and necessary procedure in the treatment and diagnosis of a variety of diseases. However, it often results in painful and stressful experiences for children. Designed together with domain experts, ChillFish is a breath-controlled biofeedback game technology with bespoke airflow sensor that aims to calm children during blood sampling procedures. An experimental pilot study was conducted in which 20 children aged 6-11 were assigned to one of two conditions involving either passive distraction (watching a video) or active distraction using the ChillFish prototype. Medical staff rated ChillFish significantly more useful in facilitating the blood sampling procedure compared to passive distraction. Qualitative feedback from patients, parents, and medical staff identified aspects that impact the acceptance of breath-based active distraction. Our study highlights the potential of non-pharmacological assistive technology tools to reduce fear and pain for children undergoing painful or stressful medical treatment. Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDIS 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349222
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2017
Event12th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2017 - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


Conference12th ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, DIS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • 3D print
  • Assistive technology
  • Biofeedback
  • Blood drawing
  • Blood test
  • Calming
  • Children
  • Field study
  • Game
  • Hospital context
  • In the wild
  • Medical
  • Relax
  • Tangible computing


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