Exploring playful technology to support breastfeeding education
Kymeng Tang is a PhD student at KU Leuven. He develops immersive playful systems to allow expecting parents and wider society to experience breastfeeding, and currently explores how to demonstrate breastfeeding in a virtual reality environment.
Kymeng obtained a Bachelor of Science in computer science with highest distinction under a government-funded-merit scholarship from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2016. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree, he was awarded several merit-exchange scholarships
to study abroad. Between 2015 and 2016, Kymeng also worked as a part-time research assistant at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Shortly after obtaining his bachelor’s degree, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a master’s degree at KU Leuven, Belgium in 2016. In 2017,
Kymeng was honored to have his bachelor’s degree awarded and congratulated by the prime minister of Cambodia.
In 2018, he obtained a Master of Science in Electronics and ICT Engineering Technology (Magna Cum Laude) from KU Leuven, where he is currently pursuing his Ph.D. In his most recent publication, “Information and Communication Systems to Tackle Barriers to Breastfeeding: Systematic Search and Review”, he highlights shortcomings in current information technology to support breastfeeding, and outlines design opportunities to turn breastfeeding into a collective and societal rather than individual effort.
Breastfeeding brings along many health benefits for parents and child but the practice in many countries falls short of achieving the World Health Organization (WHO) directives due to various challenges. Existing information and communication technology solutions promise to tackle barriers to breastfeeding, e.g., by providing self-administered breastfeeding education, and have shown some success in improving the theoretical knowledge. However, there is room for improvement, for example, by offering educational content that examines the lived experience of breastfeeding through games or playful
interactive experiences that could also engage partners and wider society in the process.
Drawing from our exploratory work, we present the potential and limitations of playful technology in support breastfeeding and suggest two main opportunities for playful technology design:
1) immersive first-person breastfeeding experience for expecting parents and
2) playful systems that portray the needs of newborns.
We will give a glimpse into the design and development process of a virtual reality breastfeeding experience, together with a demonstration of our initial low fidelity prototype system.