Next Level Health: How Games Improve Health and Healthcare
Sure, computer games are fun, but that does not mean they can’t also have important health benefits. In fact, hospitals, doctors, and researchers today are collaborating with creative game developers worldwide. And games can now be used to train our brains, assist doctors and nurses, motivate rehabilitation, and help keep us fit.
The evening’s program will showcase some of the most innovative applied games currently being used for health and healthcare purposes.
Designing health games that are appealing, engaging, and impactful is both an art and a science. Hear from representatives of the Applied Game Design research program in the Netherlands and meet the researchers and developers behind the YouGrabber glove and Gabarello, a therapeutic game developed for a physiotherapy robot. Learn how a neurofeedback game helps children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and how another helps to improve memory. Get a peek at what a surgery training game soon to be released on Nintendo looks like, and learn how health gaming is now a burgeoning field in Canada, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. After the presentations, try out some of the games yourself, explore the exhibition, and exchange ideas with the speakers and each other.
This event is organized by swissnex San Francisco, the Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco, and the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco.
Dr. Chris Bertram is the Director of the Human Performance Centre at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Dr. Bertram’s area of expertise is in human motor learning and control. Currently, he is involved in a variety of research endeavors with a primary focus on novel intervention programs for children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The program brings children with FASD together for an after-school motor skill enhancement program designed to capitalize on individual areas of strength. In addition, Dr. Bertram and his colleagues have begun to incorporate a therapeutic video games component to the program which is driven partially by EEG neurofeedback signals.
Tim Laning co-founded the award winning Dutch serious game company Grendel Games in 2003. Medical serious games where added as a focal point as early as 2005, marking the beginning of a strong business relationship with rehabilitation technology company Motek Medical. Grendel Games creates games focusing on physical and mental rehabilitation, improvement of surgical training , and medical education for universities, hospitals, and rehabilitation institutes. Grendel Games is the first company to work with hospitals to create a laparoscopic surgery training game to be released on Nintendo consoles in 2012. Laning encouraged the founding of Gameship, The Netherlands' largest serious game development media lab.
Chris Bertram, network investigator for NeuroDevNet, explains his organization's innovative work, which aims to leverage the interest and skill associated with gaming by turning video games into therapy.