The Washington Post reports about the second annual Games for Health Conference, now underway at University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore:
But some physicians, psychiatrists and public health experts see a more positive side: They’re betting electronic games can be adapted as tools to ease medical treatments, improve patient outcomes and boost fitness and knowledge for users young and old.
Government agencies including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Office of Naval Research and other branches of the Department of Defense are placing bets of their own, funding the development of health-related video games.
Some of those projects and others were on display recently at the second annual Games for Health conference at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Between lectures, participants crowded into two windowless rooms for a first-hand look. In one, they could test themselves on the Kilowatt, an isometric exercise device in which players use body strength to interact with scenes on a video screen — for instance, muscling a car around a race track. In another room, attendees donned a virtual-reality helmet for a simulated plunge into FreeDive, a fantasy underwater world meant to distract pediatric patients from pain or anxiety.