The ADHD Assessing is a game room for children who might have ADHD disease. They could get assessing by playing games during the time waiting for the doctor. It could save time for both doctors and patients. What’s more, when the machine learning catches enough data, it could be used in the cities without the high-level ADHD medical care hospital.




  • ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the most common mental disease in children, about 5% children have ADHD.
  • About 15-20 millions of children in China have ADHD disease.
  • ADHD is not a disease which can be self cured. If they cannot get professional treatment, 80% of ADHD children will still have it when they are teenagers, and 40% of them will keep it in their adulthood.

Why ADHD children have problems of getting health care in China?

ADHD is a mental disease, which means it is subjective and the doctor’s judgment is the only standard to decide you have it or not. However,there is a massive gap meditation and treatment level of ADHD disease between different cities. Research shows, in the 30 best hospitals of ADHD disease, there are 17 of them coming from only four famous cities, but China has 34 cities. What should the other cities’ ADHD  kids and potential ADHD kids do? Currently, ADHD patients have to go to the hospital with parents to receive assessment and treatment, which is cumbersome for patients when their disability increases or the travel distance is long. 


Why do we want to conduct this program to help them?

After visiting a renowned ADHD doctor and observing his assessing process, my friends and I found that they used a chart called DSM-5, which is the most professional and most used chart for assessing ADHD disease. Doctors refer to some key points in that chart to assess, and that inspired us. Why don’t we create a bunch of games based on the most professional and experienced ADHD doctors to catch those key points data by machine learning and wearable sensors? In this way, it could be used everywhere, especially the cities without the best quality ADHD treatment. That’s the start of this game design.

Target users' goal:

This game room is controlled by doctors, so the target users would be the patients & their parents, and doctors. For patients, my users’ goal is to let children feel relaxed and safe about the environment, but also curious about the games. Therefore, they could keep playing games until the data is enough. For doctors, we want it could be user-friendly; they could check the history information anywhere and anytime.

Group 3


Doing questionnair about children's toy preference

To explore what types of games children's love and what material parents feel safe, we did the questionnaire through primary students’ parents. By analyzing 117 effective feedbacks about what kind of toys their children like best, I found out that the Puzzle is the most popular type, including Toy Block, Model, Colored Clay, etc. Also for the material, they prefer woodiness and plastic, which means they care about safety very much. 

Group 2

Doing Literature Review

To find the standard of ADHD assessing, we did the literature review on DSM-5 chart, which was the most authoritative chart to assess the ADHD disease. It shows that the two most significant characteristics are symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity & impulsivity. Also, the symptoms are the most crucial points to design the games in the following work.


Understand ADHD children from different perspective

In order to identify pain points, we generated over 10 different scenarios to understand ADHD children's behavioral patterns. I choose two typical ADHD children here to represent their problems and needs. They are the personas of Wucheng and Xueling.

Personas of ADHD children

persona 男孩
persona 女孩

As you can see, most of the children don't feel comfortable and joyful while waiting for doctor, and they are willing to play with others as well, but the games types preference are different, so we decided to design several types of games to satisfy their needs and keep them curious.

Persona of patient's mom

persona 妈

Interviewing kindergarten teacher and ADHD doctor

We also interviewed kindergarten teachers to learn about children's characteristic and how to catch their attention. A very important finding was that we needed to set award after every game, so that they could get the feefback and concentrate more. Also, we interviewed ADHD doctors to learn their specific process of assessing.

persona 校长
persona doctor


Design principle


The whole game should based on DSM-5 chart to make sure the standard is authoritative. To keep half of the games focus on the symptom of inattention and the other focus on the hyperactive & impulsivity.

Keeping children's initiative interest by designing and leading feedbacks on time. Children are easy to loose interest and attention, don't even mention ADHD children.

Hawthorne effect: avoid awaring of being tested. Although we need to set awards in games, pay attention on the frequency and extent of the awards, because they would influent their performance, then get the wrong data.

Ecological Validity: try best to be close to the real life. Game designing should based on their life experience, so that they could act more like their true reaction and they would feel more comfortable as well.

Conception defining

As a process before seeing doctor, it should be not too short to still wait for a long time, but not too long to miss the doctor assessing time. Therefore, it define the duration as:

  • 3-5 minutes / single test
  • 30-60 minutes / whole test

We decided to design the whole games based on both screen and physical products. About the techonologies and products we could use to design, they are:


      Microsoft Band 2                          Kinect                           Arduino sensor          Wireless EEG sensor

What's more, we intived a psychology Phd, Yuanxi Li from Beijing Normal University, to help us find out about the award setting principles, they are:

  • Setting the real award(e.g. use apple as an award corresponding to the game)   
  • If considering several times repeating game, we can create different levels to give some specific users higer level to make custom-tailor game.
  • The whole system could consider the modified difficulty level or the game with branch line. Developing the influence through the users‘ different strategies, this setting could not be in the first edition.
  • Developing the clues between two games, and using the clues as awards.


Game design introduction


We designed eight games for the first edition, which including three based on the screen and five based on the hardware. Half of them are focus on the symptom of inattention, and the other focus on the symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity, which are the two main charicteristic in DSM-5 chart.

Final game design

Game 1: Catch the grasshopper

The grasshopper would show up randomly, and children need to press the grasshopper as much as they can. This game could catch their data about how long and how much attention children could pay.


Game 2: Schulte Grid

It’s a very classic game with lots of scientific tests. The number 1-16 are not showing by sequence, but kids need to press them by sequence. For instance, 12345…… 


Game 3: Water the bird

On this game, children need to wear a Microsoft band to control the middle water pipe. When they twist their wrist, the central water pipe will rotate in the same way and direction. Except for the right one, one of the other three water pipes on the circle could have water randomly. The task is to waive the wrist to let the one with water and the middle one link together, and then the right water pipe would have water, and the bird could be watered. This game need to move and keep the right position, which is very hard for hyperactive children.


Game 4: Catch bugs in apple

There would be a real toy apple in front of the children, and it would play the audio which sounds like “bunny, puppy, bug, chick……” Whenever the children hear the word “bug,” they need to press the “button” button on the center of the apple.


Game 5: NFC toy bricks

There would be many boxes with different colors and many cards with different shapes and colors. All the boxes and cards have NFC chips, which is a tiny and simple chip we used in subway cards or mobile payments. Children need to put the cards in the right boxes based on shapes instead of colors. Color is a distraction for them.


Game 6: Sparkling ball(car)

Kids have Microsoft band on their ankle to detect their path and body data. The only thing they need to do is chasing the sparkling ball. It's easy to observe if the children run away because of being attracted by other obstacles.


Game 7: Can’t help eating the candy

Children are told that if they do not touch the candy on the table for five minutes, they will have three candies later. The infrared ray would detect any movement if children didn't help to touch the candy.


Game 8: Traffic light

By wearing Myo, one gesture recognition sensor based on EEG, on the arm, children could control the traffic lights by waiving the wrist up and down, left and right. The green light is uping the wrist and the red one is downing. When the light is sparkling, they need to make the correct gesture to win the game.


For doctor, they will have a Pad application to choose which game the children should start or decide the sequence, or just let them start by sequence.


How to link them together?

At first, we decided everything would be linked together by wi-fi to make the whole room more neat, but on the process of producing the demo, engineers found out that the wi-fi's speed was hard to sustain those much data. Therefore, we change some of the games's wi-fi linking to the wire. Otherwise, some of the games would be linked by SDK or Blue to make every transmission way's load equal. Here is the final linking way:


The change of the whole scene

The original scene would be that children are waiting for the assessment by doctors, and they might feel nervous and uncomfortable during this time, which could probably influent their performance in the later test. The doctor needs to test every child one by one, every kid’s test may take him half an hour. He feels exhausted and tired.


Now, all the children could play in this game room together, and they also are assessed at the same time. When they have done the game assessment, doctors would see their data and results, and they could save their energy only to make important decision or advice. Children would not feel nervous anymore; they might make some new friends here.

The best part is that the ADHD children and the potential ADHD children in other small cities could also have the best level assessment after the data collection and machine learning. 


Future Work

After interning in this project for eight month, we got:

  • 8 games in the game room
  • application for doctor vision
  • first demo
  • 2 times update of the game

In the future, ADHD Assessing need to finish the whole process and start to collect data in Beijing Anding Hospital. We would also collect the doctor's assessment result for every children to link to the data, then using machine learning to make it intelligent enough to assess, so it will face lots of challenges and have a huge space to be better designed, they would be:

  • finish the whole game and test it
  • collect data in Beijing Anding Hospital
  • work on the model of assessing ADHD disease
  • test the model in hospital
  • test the succussful model in other small cities

See my Other Works: