Thursday, September 18, 2014

Serious Games For Operating Room Risk Management

Serious Games offering multi-professional in-service training to every stakeholder in the operating room

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Via: KTM Advance3D VOR (Virtual Operating Room)

3D VOR (Virtual Operating Room) is a collaborative and immersive Serious Game, under development by KTM Advance, targeting various defects in healthcare inside the OR due to a communication failure between the surgeons, the nursing staff, the anesthetists and the patient. 

The OR setting is one of the most frequent targets of healthcare malpractice suits.

Inside the operating room (OR), communication and anticipation are key for the patient's safety during and after the intervention. This is the context for the game that offers a multi-professional in-service training to every stakeholder in the operating room.

The game is centered on the effects of the communication between the surgeon, the nursing staff and the anesthetists upon crisis prevention and risk management inside the OR (control procedures, patient checklist).

Through 4 virtual surgery operations chosen on purpose (routine versus infrequent, benign versus vital, etc.) and carefully reenacted, the game explores the many reasons of a failure in the OR that can be related to bad communication.

To ensure that the learners collectively understand why an incident in the OR would occur as the mere result of an ineffective communication or a conflict, an intelligent debriefing is proposed in the same manner as mortality morbidity conferences (MMC).

3D VOR is a collaborative research project selected within the framework of the Single Inter-Ministry Fund 12th Call for Projects.

The Single Inter-Ministry Fund is a French program designed to assist in the development of new products and services with high innovation content, likely to reach the market within 5 years. The Single Inter-Ministry Fund (FUI) is restricted to funding R&D projects accredited by competitiveness clusters, while the projects must guarantee economic benefits for the country as a whole. With approximately 130 million euros available each year, the Single Inter-Ministry Fund issues two calls each year for project proposals.

KTM Advance and Novamotion have partnered with research experts in the fields of artificial intelligence (IRIT), ergonomics (CCLE) didactics (EFTS), healthcare (Toulouse University Hospital) and the Serious Game Research Network (Champollion University).

The picture is an illustration of the prototype currently being tested

The first working single player prototype was released in August 2014 and the multi-player prototype, integrating artificial intelligence, is expected for early 2015.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Serious Games Improve Understanding Of Type 1 Diabetes At School

Serious Games supporting children with T1D in their school environment

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Created by Sanofi Diabetes, in collaboration with Ranj Serious Games, to address the need for greater understanding of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) amongst children, parents, caregivers and friends in the school environment, the new Mission T1D Serious Game is now available, free of charge, from the Apple UK store. 

(Note: Right after publishing this post, I was notified by Sanofi-Diabetes that "With regard to the availability of the App there appears to be a delay. We are currently awaiting a confirmation date, which is imminent. As soon as we have it, we will let you know and send you the link.")

T1D affects 400,000 people in the UK and more than 29,000 are children (please find detailed stats under the section About T1D in UK).

Mission T1D aims to improve the understanding of living with diabetes and helps to share practical information to better support children with diabetes, especially in their school environment.

Dr. Sheridan Waldron, Specialist Diabetes Dietitian, says, "Children with diabetes and their families face many challenges in their daily lives as they care for a very complex life-long condition. It is essential that children, parents and caregivers have the knowledge and skills to manage diabetes but they also need their friends, teachers and other people in the school environment to understand and support them to care for their diabetes effectively. Sharing information and fostering a caring environment at school will help children with diabetes to feel normal, happy and ensure that they reach their full potential in a safe environment."

Game Context & Goals

The Mission T1D Serious Game by Sanofi Diabetes is aimed at kids with type 1 diabetes and their friends, parents and caregivers.

It takes place in a school setting and features educational messages adapted for primary school-age children.

Players make their way through a number of levels by earning points to advance though the game, each level providing short, practical and illustrated messages from "the sensei”, a wise old man, about living with Type 1 Diabetes at school along with a number of educational videos to reinforce key topics. Players can become a Grand Master at the end of each level after watching educational videos that explain key subjects including what T1D is about, everyday life with T1D, what is hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and how to t have a healthy diet. Players are also invited to test their knowledge and understanding of living with T1D by taking part in the quiz.

The game is designed to allow children living with T1D to share basic knowledge about diabetes within their school environment in order to dispel any misconceptions. Furthermore, their peers can feel involved in helping their classmates through support and a better understanding of what it is like to live with diabetes.

The entire educational pack (game, videos and quiz), when used in a classroom setting, is also a useful toolkit for teachers, creating an understanding of diabetes that can easily be included into the curriculum. The desired outcome is for children with T1D to feel more supported and understood.

At home, parents or caregivers can also get involved by talking to their child about the app, finding out how it is being used and encouraging its use in and outside of school.

The game’s launch follows less than a year after Sanofi’s last diabetes-focus mobile game, Monster Manor, which encouraged players to regularly test and log their blood glucose levels.

Rebecca Reeve, Head of Professional Relations at Sanofi Diabetes says, "As a company, we have entered the diabetes gaming arena to improve health outcomes for children with Type 1 Diabetes. We are committed to making a difference to the lives of children who are struggling with the challenge of managing diabetes, especially in an environment where they can easily be made to feel different. We hope that the teachers, parents and carers for whom this game was developed will make it their mission to make this game a success."

About T1D in UK

In the UK 400,000 people live with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), 29,000 of these are children.

The UK ranks the fifth highest in the world for the rate of children diagnosed with T1D. Of all the countries with data, only Finland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Norway have higher rates than the UK.

Each year in the UK more than 24 in every 100,000 children aged 14 and younger are told that they have this form of diabetes, which must be treated with insulin. The UK rate is double than in France (12.2 per 100,000) and Italy (12.1 per 100,000). According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the incidence of type 1 diabetes among children is increasing by 4% year on year, with the greatest rise in under-fives at a rate of 5% per year.

In addition to the medical complications that T1D causes, a child diagnosed with type 1 at the age of five, faces up to 19,000 injections and 50,000 finger pricks by the time they are 18.

In 2010/2011 the direct and indirect costs of type 1 to the UK were £1.9 billion and this figure is predicted to rise to a staggering £4.2 billion per year by 2035 if things remain as they are.

UK experts say it is unclear why the figure is so high. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 is not linked to obesity or lifestyle; instead, genes do appear to play a role.

UK charities Diabetes UK and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) say it is vital that people are aware of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes because if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to serious illness and even death. A quarter of the 2,000 children a year who develop diabetes are only diagnosed once they are already seriously ill.

About Sanofi

Sanofi is a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, France, as of 2014 the world's fifth-largest one by prescription sales. 

The company was formed in August 2004 when Sanofi-Synthelabo acquired Aventis, which were each the product of several previous mergers. The takeover was finalized on December 31 of that year, giving birth to Sanofi-Aventis. On May 6, 2011, Sanofi-Aventis simplified its name to Sanofi.

Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Diabetes strives to help people manage the complex challenge of diabetes by delivering innovative, integrated and personalized solutions. Driven by valuable insights that come from listening to and engaging with people living with diabetes, Sanofi is forming partnerships to offer diagnostics, therapies, services and devices, including innovative blood glucose monitoring systems. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Amplify Disrupting Serious Games Business Development Models

Consumers  To Fuel Demand For Mobile Educational Serious Games

Amplify launches Twelve A Dozen as a Consumer Serious Game

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At the early stages of the Serious Games movement, in many cases they were made available to users free of charge or distributed within the client organization. Serious Games used to lack the budgets of entertainment games, so producers usually did not develop their own game engines (which could cost upwards of $5 million and 3-5 years of time), but instead leased popular game engines for game play. Serious Games were made for a fraction of the cost and time of games for the entertainment market, with budgets in the range of $400,000-$1 million being typical, and a development time of perhaps a year.

However, budgets for certain applications have increased over the years and we have seen some Serious Games being budgeted in the $10 million range and above. Growing budgets have translated into a growing demand for funding, mostly because the predominant model in Serious Games had been "work-for-hire", which did not leverage on economies of scale. Early adopters had focused heavily on advances in design, pedagogy, and technology and sparingly on business development models.

Since its inception, the market has been essentially B2B oriented, with the majority of projects falling into the "work-for-hire" or “single-use efforts” categories like those seen in traditional business software industries.

That scenario is about to change, driven by the consumer market.

According to Ambient Insight LLC recent report "2013-2018 North America Mobile Edugame Market,", the revenues for Mobile Educational Serious Games in North America shall spike to $410.27 million by 2018, which translates into a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5%. Consumers are by far the major buyers of mobile edugame digital content in Canada and US and they shall continue to dominate throughout the forecast period. The majority of consumer purchases fall into the two ends of the age spectrum: math and language learning for young children (targeting parents through a B2C model) and brain trainers and brain fitness apps for elders.

As we know, unlike large organizations, consumers are fast-moving when adopting new paradigms and Amplify, the New York-based education start-up, seems to be paving the way for a direct-to-consumer Serious Games market.

Calling it an “experiment”, Amplify launched this week its first direct-to-consumer Serious Game on Apple’s App store - Twelve a Dozen, a puzzle-platformer that takes players on a journey to master the “order of operations,” one of the prerequisites to conquering algebra.

As recalls Jordan Shapiro on, last year, when Amplify announced their game portfolio, CEO Joel Klein said: “These games will improve learning not because kids have to play them in school, but because they want to play them in their own free time.”

“Unlike the other big players in the Educational Serious Games space, Amplify’s strategy has always been to capture kids’ free time rather than build games for the classroom,” adds Shapiro.

Twelve a Dozen puzzle-platformer 

Hidden deep behind your display screen is a tiny speck containing a whole universe of numbers. And inside that universe, an even tinier speck—a place called Dozenopolis, where a character named Twelve learns she must solve math puzzles to save her city from ruin 

In the game, players guide the actions of the heroine, Twelve, as she sets off on an adventure to rescue her family during a cataclysmic event befalling the town of Dozenopolis. Along the way, Twelve and her companion Dot explore the universe and solve mathematics puzzles. Dot is a decimal point and the helper NPC (Non-Player Character). She’s narrated by Lucy Montgomery - an English comedian, actress and writer. Twelve also receives help from the ever-willing “Numbles,” number characters that follow her in a conga line

Twelve a Dozen’s puzzles revolve around manipulating numbers. Starting with simple calculations the game eventually covers more complex mathematical operations to unlock the powers hidden within digits and overcome the game's tricky puzzles and dangerous environments (Twelve A Dozen has also a “rewind” feature that lets players undo mistakes and have fun exploring new math concepts)

Twelve a Dozen is Amplify’s first product to enter the consumer market. It is one of a pack of about 30 new games on English Language Arts (ELA), math and science (STEM) that Amplify will release this October to complement its tablet-based middle-school curriculum. 

Amplify threatens to become a major force in Educational Serious Games over the next few years as it works with several top independent games studios to create content for the tablet.

It has already signed Pittsburgh-based Schell Games and Zachtronics, the Seattle creator of Infiniminer, the original game upon which Minecraft is based. Other developers include the British studio Preloaded, New York-based Highline Games, which created the hit iPad spelling game W.E.L.D.E.R., Ira Fay Games and Seattle-based Strange Loop, which created the liquid-physics puzzle game Vessel.

The developer of Twelve a Dozen is London-based Bossa Studios, an indie games developer and publisher founded in 2010. Creators of the critically acclaimed “Surgeon Simulator,” BAFTA-winning “Monstermind” and the BAFTA-nominated “Merlin: The Game,” the company has brought a new take on how indie and social games are played and discovered.

Former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who is now Amplify's CEO, said the company decided to break out the new puzzle game to test the water for other possible commercial releases.

“Our strategy has been focused on schools and school districts, but the more we showed our games to people from various walks of life, we heard the same thing, How can I get these for my kid?” Klein says. “So we decided to see if people are as crazy about these games as we are. If the commercial launch of Twelve a Dozen is well received, we’d want to consider making some of our other games available to consumers as well.”

Have a taste of it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Serious Games For Medical Assisting Instructors And Students

Serious Games to be workplace ready for one of the fastest growing jobs in healthcare 

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Practice, the line of 3D, multiplayer Serious Games developed by Muzzy Lane Software for McGraw-Hill Education, which already includes Practice OperationsPractice Marketing, Government in Action, and Practice Spanish: Study Abroad, is about to get a new addition: Practice Medical Assisting.

Designed against course Learning Objectives and delivered on the web and on tablets, these games integrate into the core curriculum to provide hands-on learning experiences. Practice is also integrated with McGraw-Hill Connect® to give instructors and students seamless access to the experience, including single sign-on and assessment data.

Practice MA is an online educational Serious Game for Medical Assisting instructors and students that allows players to stand out from their peers and be workplace ready.

By practicing critical thinking and soft skills that are crucial to a successful career in the MA profession, this virtual experience provides students with a game that is challenging, promotes discovery and mastery and ultimately provides real life scenarios that prepare students for the workplace in a safe environment.

The Medical Assisting Market

Medical Assisting is one of the fastest growing jobs in the healthcare field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. In 2012, the Medical Assisting profession employed circa 560,000 people and BLS predicts that additional 163,000 jobs will be created by 2022.

Among the reasons for this fast-paced growth is the aging of baby-boom population that will continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians. As their practices expand, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.

Most medical assistants have post-secondary education such as a certificate. Others enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training. Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) is the highest standard of professionalism in the field.  By having this certification professionals show that they have met the standards of the Certifying Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

McGraw-Hill had previously published two applications, for iOS and Android, designed specifically to help preparing users for the Medical Assisting field:

Medical Assisting Pocket Guide 

This quick reference guide for medical assisting includes step-by-step procedures for administrative and clinical skills and easy reference to anatomy and physiology, communication, and legal considerations.

Medical Assisting Review

This application is intended to prepare users for Medical Assisting Certification with 2 full practice exams. The practice exams are based on Hill’s Medical Assisting Review 4th edition by Jahangir Moini.