When I think of the intersection of video games and healthcare, the first thing that comes to mind is…surgical simulations. If game-based learning is “learning by doing,” what better application is there for games in healthcare than surgery? Surgery is intensive, high-risk work and simulating surgery with human cadavers is expensive and difficult. Whereas recreating surgery in a virtual environment, either as a 2D/3D learning game or virtual reality experience, provides an effective way to learn this important skill – at a fraction of the cost.
But virtual surgery is far from the only worthwhile application of game-based learning in healthcare.
Throughout our history, Filament has collaborated with several healthcare-facing clients, helping bring their innovative ideas on how to improve healthcare through games to life by asking thought-provoking questions such as these:
What if games were medicine?
One of the most ambitious games in healthcare initiatives we’ve seen to date, our friends at Akili Interactive want to change the way medicine is designed, delivered and experienced. They are spearheading a new class of digital medicines for people living with cognitive impairment, delivered through captivating video game experiences – imagine a day in the future when pharmacists will fill video game prescriptions in lieu of traditional pharmaceuticals!
What if games could motivate dementia patients in rehabilitation?
Wisconsin-based Vibetech wants to change the way we think about rehabilitation for patients by adding therapeutic vibrations to traditional physical and occupational therapy equipment. Furthermore, they noticed that their patients, many of whom are also struggling with dementia, needed motivation to complete exercise sequences that are often challenging for them. By adding a simple game layer to incentivize longer sessions of increasing difficulty, they hope to further improve patient outcomes.
What if games could teach patients about their pending medical procedures?
A classic game from the Filament Games vault, we collaborated with the Morgridge Institute of Research and the University of Wisconsin–Madison to create Oncology, a game that teaches patients about how radiation oncology works to target malignant tumors in the brain. Featuring real-life patient CT scans, the intention of this game was to provide an understanding of the basic science behind the procedures so that patients were better informed.
This concludes Part 1 of my Filament Games and Healthcare blog series. Look for Part 2 coming soon!