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Office of Communications & Media Relations

NIH Clinical Center News Release

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

Maria Maslennikov

Game App Aims to Ease Anxiety of New Clinical Center Pediatric Patients

Clinical Center Treasure Tour is a free game application
NIHCC Treasure Tour is a free game application.

The NIH Clinical Center is giving its patients the chance to “level up” with a new app.

NIHCC Treasure Tour is a free game application created for the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Officially launched this week, the app is aimed at children and their families to better help them understand the layout of the hospital, the programs and services offered on-site and the procedures and tests patients might undergo.

NIHCC Treasure Tour is designed to be a fun and interactive game. Players can customize their character and explore the hospital before visiting in person.

Developed on the Unity game engine, NIHCC Treasure Tour provides a look at six different patient care areas of the Clinical Center, The areas are presented in a kid-friendly style and are easily recognizable.

The areas to explore include the hospital’s pediatric clinic, one of the day hospitals, an inpatient unit, the phlebotomy lab, radiology and imaging sciences and the Department of Perioperative Medicine.

“Leaving home to receive care at a new hospital can be very frightening, especially to young children,” said Dr. Lori Wiener, Co-Director of the Behavioral Health Core and Director for the Psychosocial Support and Research Program for the Pediatric Oncology Branch’s Center for Cancer Research in the National Cancer Institute.

The game is another way to “help to reduce uncertainty, decrease associated distress and enhance adjustment to the new hospital and treatment,” she added.

Clinical Center CEO Dr. James Gilman added, “At the NIH Clinical Center, we want to make every effort to ensure children and their families coming to receive treatment feel comfortable and can navigate the hospital with ease."

NIHCC Treasure Tour was developed in partnership with the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research and in cooperation with industry partner Breakaway Games, an award-winning developer of real-time strategy games that use entertainment game technology to solve real world problems.

Learn how to access the game on our web page.


About the NIH Clinical Center: The NIH Clinical Center is the world’s largest hospital entirely devoted to clinical research. It is a national resource that makes it possible to rapidly translate scientific observations and laboratory discoveries into new approaches for diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease. Over 1,600 clinical research studies are conducted at the NIH Clinical Center, including those focused on cancer, infectious diseases, blood disorders, heart disease, lung disease, alcoholism and drug abuse. For more information about the Clinical Center, visit:

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

About BreakAway: founded in 1998, BreakAway has established itself as an industry leading game company through a broad range of projects for customers in the entertainment industry as well as in developing “serious games” for numerous government and commercial clients. BreakAway solves real-world problems with a game-based approach grounded in learning theory, human factors and cognitive engineering. For more information about BreakAway, visit

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This page last updated on 11/22/2021

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