Gaming technology uses in Healthcare


Got a note today from Ben Sawyer making me aware of a conference coming up in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of September relating to Gamings use in Healthcare.

Copying from his email

Games for Health, 2006 features over 30 sessions on the latest and most
innovative ways that video and computer gaming are becoming a powerful
influence on health and healthcare. Sessions will cover products and
projects aimed at personal health, exergaming, professional health care
training and skill development, epidemics and disaster response,
obesity, and health messaging.  Last year the event drew over 200
researchers, developers healthcare professionals and journalists.

On the Games for Health Website (organisers of the event) it states its’ role is 

to help foster and support a community of researchers, developers, and
users of applications that use game, game technologies, and game development talent to create entire new
ways of improving the management, quality, and provision of healthcare worldwide.

Wired magazine online has a great article on how immersive gaming environments are being trialed with soliders suffering PTSD symptoms coming home from duty in Iraq.

The setup is based on VR goggles mounted on an army helmet that has a
night-vision rig. A built-in tracking sys-tem can pick up tiny head
movements. A gaming PC shows the clinician what the patient is seeing;
another serves as a control panel.

As well as a vibration rig to simulate explosions and low flying helicopters, it also has the 21st century version of Smell-o-vision – a smell machine that at an appropriate part of the interaction, pierces a smell capsule  such as

garbage, weapons fire, cordite, Iraqi spices, diesel fuel, burning rubber, and body odor.

It’s a fascinating piece. Every day items we take from granted have evolved from military or space exploration research funds. With this type of innovation, the reverse is happening.


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