GAMES FOR HEALTH JOURNAL: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications Volume 3, Number 5, 2014 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/g4h.2014.0730

News from the Field

Game Developers Receive Grant for HIV-Prevention Game


ergio Bautista in Mexico, Elena Bertozzi at Quinnipiac University, and Raluca Buzdugan at the University of California, Berkeley, received a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA, to develop a humorous online game-based intervention to motivate men who have sex with men in Mexico City to get regularly tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and adhere to treatment. The game will feature HIVrelated topics and reward healthy choices, such as negotiating condom use or asking a partner about HIV status, with coupons for free HIV testing and with points on a leader board. The team will recruit players to pilot test the game and its value for the high-risk population. More information is available at: .aspx?Topic = Behavior + change&Round = 12&Phase = 1 University Games Alliance Established

The newly established Higher Education Video Game Alliance, initially supported by the Entertainment Software Association, will provide a platform for academics to showcase the critical role videogame programs are playing in educating and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. Among its goals is to conduct meta-analyses of the play in various sectors including health. New York University (NYU) School of Engineering Professor Katherine Isbister will serve as a founding member of the executive board of the alliance. ‘‘NYU and other universities across the country are performing cutting-edge research in this emerging field, and game designers and programmers are doing foundational work that expands into health, education, and many other fields beyond entertainment,’’ said Isbister. ‘‘There are now almost 400 schools of higher education in the United States that offer video game design as part of their curriculum; I am proud that NYU will play a formative role in shaping the Alliance for the benefit of these scholars and the broader community.’’ More information is available at: pdfs/Launch%20Press%20Release%207-1-14.pdf Videogame Found to Improve Executive Function

Playing ‘‘Cut the Rope,’’ a physics-based puzzle videogame, for as little as an hour a day improved executive functions, according to a study from scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The researchers enrolled university undergraduates, who did not regularly play games, to play ‘‘Cut the Rope’’ 5 days a week on their iPhone or iPod Touch (Apple, Cupertino, CA) for 4 weeks. The control group played other videogames, in-

cluding a first-person shooter, an arcade, and a strategy game for the same period of time. Students who played ‘‘Cut the Rope’’ showed significant improvement on executive function tasks, such as switching tasks or blocking out distractions, but those playing the other games demonstrated no significant improvements. ‘‘This finding is important because previously, no video games have demonstrated this type of broad improvement to executive functions, which are important for general intelligence, dealing with new situations, and managing multitasking,’’ said Michael D. Patterson, an assistant professor at NTU. More information is available at: URL = &Guid = 00a80688-3a2b-41ee-a81f-af0d50c80f2e&Category = News + Releases Pediatrician Receives Grant to Develop Videogame to Train Physicians

James Gerard, MD, a professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, received a $541,807 grant from the Office of Naval Research of the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a videogame that will train military physicians on pediatric emergency room cases. Gerard and other subject matter experts will turn seven medical scenarios involving life-threatening emergencies into virtual scripts that will compel players to think on their feet. If the physician orders the right treatment, the game’s patient will improve, but if the doctor fails to do the right thing, the patient will deteriorate. The game scores the actions and timeliness. Gerard and his team will conduct user testing and an initial validation study of how well these games work during three military site visits during the next year. More information is available at: Online Games Found to Help Patients Manage Diabetes

Interactive games and virtual reality platforms can help people with type 2 diabetes make better choices and monitor their health on a regular basis, according to a study reported in the Journal of Consumer Research. The researchers found people engaging in interactive social platforms develop empathy for people living with a chronic disease and help them in making better choices. More information is available at: = 2134&uid = 2&uid = 70&uid = 4&sid = 21104490582393 Game Hopes for Crowd Sourcing Solution to Cancer Treatment

The online crowd sourcing game ‘‘NanoDoc’’ allows people to design new nanoparticle strategies that could work



as a treatment of cancer. During the first levels of play, gamers learn to become a NanoDoc, gaining skills such as determining proper nanoparticle dosing. Then players are asked to solve various challenges and test the success of suggested solutions. The goal is for people to come up with creative strategies not yet discovered in the lab. Those strategies could become the first steps toward the design of additional cancer treatments. More information is available at: Indiana Videogame Researchers Receive NIH Grant

Indiana University’s startup company, EmotEd, which develops serious videogames to diagnose and improve emotional health, received a $194,575 Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Research by EmotEd founder Dawn Newmann at the Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis, IN) and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana provides the foundation for the games. The funding will allow EmotEd to build and test an initial platform. Newmann said she believes the ‘‘Emotion Builder’’ game will have significant benefits for both civilian and veteran patients. EmotEd will continue to collaborate with the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Rehabilitation Hospital to develop and test EmotEd’s ‘‘Emotion Builder’’ platform. More information is available at: iu/2014/07/emoted-startup-nih-grant.shtml Online Game Helps Clinicians Advance Hypertension Treatment

Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System conducted a yearlong randomized trial to investigate whether an online educational game could reduce the time it took for primary care clinicians to help patients reach their hypertension goals. The educational content provided 32 validated multiple-choice questions and explanations about hypertension management. Clinicians in the intervention group played a game with the content, and the control group received the identical content in an online post. The game tracked performance and posted results among peers to foster competition. The team concluded in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes that the online game for clinicians ‘‘generated a modest but significant reduction in the time to BP [blood pressure] target among their hypertensive patients.’’ More information is available at: http:// = 205c833b-a122-4f5c-a5bb-54bf8da29159 Stroke Rehab Game Developer Accepted into Accelerator

Recovr, a stroke rehabilitation game maker in Greenville, SC, has been accepted into the Iron Yard Digital Health Accelerator and will receive $20,000 in seed capital, a year of free coworking space in Spartanburg, SC, and 3 months of mentorship and workshops from experts in healthcare innovation. In return, Iron Yard receives a 6 percent equity stake in the company. Recovr officials also will present their game at the 2014 Health 2.0 in Silicon Valley and at the Southeast Demo Day. More information is available at: http://medcity

NEWS FROM THE FIELD KidFit Bracelet Promotes Exercise, Sleep

The KidFit wireless activity and sleep tracker, designed by X-Doria of Los Angeles, CA, for children 5–13 years of age, encourages children to play hard and get enough rest. Rather than just tracking, the wearable device motivates by turning activities into a game. At the end of the day, the kids sync the splash-resistant bracelet to keep track of their activities. If they met their goals, they will receive rewards. More information is available at: Physician Wins National Award for Hearing-Test Game

Matthew Bromwich, a Canadian pediatric surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute, received the TELUS Award for mHealth Innovation from the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance for his role in developing and successfully implementing ShoeBOX Audiometry, a hearing test using game technology. Precise hearing thresholds across all sound frequencies for each ear are reliably recorded to produce a traditional audiogram based on the child’s responses. A team at CHEO developed the game, which is in the beta-testing phase at the Ottawa start-up company called Clearwater Clinical. ShoeBOX is registered as a medical device with Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. More information is available at: en/newsreleases?newsid = 359 Retirement Community Partners with University to Promote Brain Health

The Village Gainesville retirement community in Florida and the University of Florida have partnered in a new initiative to conduct research on brain health at a new virtual learning laboratory set up at the retirement community. The Village also provided an $80,000 research grant to support the program. Community members will participate in computer training, videogames, neurostimulation, and other activities. The program is open to adults, 60 years of age or older. More information is available at: http://vitalitymind Carnegie Mellon Develops Educational Games to Combat Childhood Obesity

A team from the Carnegie Mellon University School of Design (Pittsburgh, PA) has created a company called Fitwits to help children develop lifelong healthy eating habits and families to fight childhood obesity. The company offers print and digital tools for families, educators, and healthcare professionals. One of the main product groups, Fitwit Games, enables parents and children to learn together. Fitwits engages children in meaningful health improvement practices and was designed for overweight children, 6–11 years of age. Fitwits was funded in part by grants from The Heinz Endowments, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, Innovation Works, and Carnegie Mellon University. More information is available at: news/stories/archives/2014/june/june25_fitwits.html Kurbo Health Debuts Service to Teach Kids, Families Healthy Eating

The weight-management organization Kurbo Health of Palo Alto, CA, released a mobile subscription service with games,


challenges, and other tools to help children and their families learn how to eat healthy and make smarter food choices. It uses a traffic light–style diet, with green for healthy foods, red for unhealthy. The children keep a food diary, but it is not shared with parents, only whether the child is tracking his or her intake. More information is available at: 05/05/kurbo-health-debuts-a-mobile-service-to-help-fight-child hood-obesity/ Xbox Kinect Helpful in Promoting Physician Activity

A Taiwanese study featured at the American College of Sports Medicine annual conference found that playing an


Xbox Kinect (Microsoft, Redmond, WA) game could improve physical fitness in sedentary college students. The researchers used a parallel design study involving 13 students during a 2-month period. The intervention group played ‘‘Just Dance 4’’ (Ubisoft Paris, Montreuil, ˆIle-de-France, France) for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, and the controls followed their normal lifestyle. Those participating in the intervention group experienced improved cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, coordination, and power compared with the controls, but the researchers found no significant difference in balance, speed, or reaction time. More information is available at: Wednesday-Morning-Abstracts-2014.pdf

[Not Available].

[Not Available]. - PDF Download Free
67KB Sizes 0 Downloads 12 Views