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10 11-20 serious games saving lives

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10 11-20 serious games saving lives

  1. 1. TRAINING & SIMULATION Serious Games – Saving Lives Article by: David Wortley, Director, The Serious Games Institute © TruSim, a division of Blitz Games Studios Screenshot from Patient Rescue Today’s Information Society faces many global health • Easy access to best practice knowledge. challenges which arise directly or indirectly as a result of improvements in the communications technologies which • Use of immersive and collaborative technologies for enable us to travel further and more often, physically leveraging specialist expertise anytime, anywhere. meet and interact with more people and be instantly informed of events in distant places. Pandemics, an I believe that it is a growing and frightening reality that ageing population, longer life expectances and lifestyle our world is likely to have too many people with too many related medical conditions all place a growing challenge treatable conditions at too high a societal cost with too to the provision of healthcare in a truly global society. few human resources equipped with the necessary skills to effectively manage this situation. What can we do In this demanding globally networked environment, about it ? knowledge professionals from all disciplines have to face new challenges created every day by almost This article considers a few technology innovations that ubiquitous instant access to information via the internet. show potential for addressing these challenges. Patients with uncommon medical conditions are now able to equip themselves with more knowledge on 1. Telemedicine diagnosis and treatment than their General Practitioner. The ever-improving bandwidth capacity and ubiquity of wireless and fixed wire networks, coupled with better Huge volumes of digital media are published daily. It has and more realistic video quality, now makes it possible been said that students starting a technical 3 year higher to connect a patient with a rare or critical condition with education course will find 50% of what they learn in their an expert medical practitioner to make the necessary first year to be out of date by their third year. interventions at key times in key places. Telemedicine extends the power of specialist knowledge to anywhere What does all this mean for Global Healthcare ? in the world where telecommunications are available. • Need for rapid and effective skill development and Webcams and modern generation mobile phones with lifelong learning. video capability enable specialists to save lives almost68
  2. 2. anywhere in the world on demand. Whilst telemedicinemakes an important contribution to improving the powerand productivity of specialist expertise, there will inevitablybe a finite limit governed by the number of expertsavailable on-line at any one time.2. Virtual Hospitals and Remote SensorsA number of academic and medical institutions arepioneering the development of virtual hospital simulationsin virtual environments such as Linden Lab’s Second Life.These virtual environments can be used to train medical © TruSim, a division of Blitz Games Studiospractitioners and also inform and orientate patients onhospital layouts and procedures. These applications can “Virtual Patient Generator Technology” developed by Trusim links medical data to simulate physiological conditionsnot only provide basic training and familiarisation withoutusing expensive and rare physical resources but theyalso have the potential to extend specialist care waybeyond the boundaries of traditional healthcare spaces. The skills and techniques they have developed for the demands of the video game market have been put toThe “Internet of Things” is a phrase used to articulate the excellent use in recreating highly realistic simulations ofubiquity and power of remote sensors which, amongst patient conditions and the effects of medical interventions.many other uses, can be used to monitor patient conditions This has important implications and benefits for global24x7 for all 365 days of the year from anywhere in the healthcare because they are able to offer medicalworld. practitioners the opportunity to practise critical decision making for medical emergencies with highly realistic virtual patients which respond physically and emotionally as they would in real life. Patient Rescue is designed to improve newly qualified doctors’ recognition and assessment of the signs of deterioration as well as practising effective intervention. Failure to rescue deteriorating patients is recognised as a key contributor to adverse outcomes in UK and US hospitals. Trusim’s work with health professionals and their pion- eering of medical data linked to high-fidelity animations has also been used to train paramedics on how to triage casualties of a high street terrorist explosion. This is the type of event which is very expensive and difficult to © TruSim, a division of Blitz Games Studios simulate in the physical world. Imperial College Virtual Hospital in Second Life These technologies and techniques offer great promise in making specialist knowledge more easily accessible and delivering lifelong learning where and when it really matters.By combining the power of virtual world hospitalsimulations with remote patient sensors, it is not difficultto imagine aggregating similar patients located all overthe world and representing them as virtual patients allin the same virtual ward and managed by the samespecialist healthcare team. Through the use of real-timedata visualisation and monitoring of patient condition, thevirtual healthcare team could deliver rapid response and For further information please contact:intervention very cost effectively and almost on demand. David Wortley3. Serious Games for Healthcare Training DirectorTrusim is the Serious Games Division of Blitz Games Serious Games Institute Coventry Universityin Leamington Spa. One of the largest independentgames companies in the world, Blitz Games develop Tel: +44 (0) 247 6158201highly successful household entertainment games for Email: d.wortley@cad.coventry.ac.ukconsoles such as XBOX 360, PS3 and Wii as well as PC, http://www.seriousgamesinstitute.co.uksmartphone and social networks. 69

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