The hospital can be a scary place for anyone – especially children. Big machines, doctors in masks, and new places can seem like monsters to kids. 

So St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa has turned to technology to ease its young patients' fears. The hospital has released “UnMonsters,” a free game app available in the App Store and Google Play. Tampa-based Haneke Design created the app.

The game is set within the hospital and encourages players to wrangle four monsters and gather medical “power ups” along the way. Future versions of the app will include game play with patients and additional power ups.

“Sometimes, the best way to conquer our fear is to view things in a different way,” said St. Joseph's Children's Hospital President Kimberly Guy. “We hope that UnMonsters will give kids and parents a new way of looking at going to the hospital, because when we understand the things that scare us, the monsters don't seem so bad after all.”

To create the game, Haneke gathered information from hospital team members and tested it with patients and their families.

“To our knowledge, this is the first hospital-based game app in the country,” said Kim Marlatt, the hospital’s marketing director.

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