When it comes to the medical world and gaming, the two spheres of influence haven’t always worked together. After all, most people think of lazy, unhealthy individuals when they imagine video game players. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The impact of gaming can be felt across various industries, including the health sector. In fact, gameifying healthcare has become popular in a variety of applications.
Whether it’s training doctors or coping with the stress of COVID-19, gaming can help everyone when it comes to healthcare. Here are some of the most important ways that these two dichotomous industries intersect:
Training our future doctors and nurses has never been easier. This is, in part, thanks to recent technological advances. Now, our countless doctors, nurses, and biology students are able to gain real experience through virtual means. Gamifying health has become an increasingly popular way to teach and train individuals when access to real people and problems are scarce. It’s also a great way to save on the expensive costs associated with
For example, virtual reality-based games have enabled surgeons to gain important training without putting the life of a patient at-risk. These applications have become so important that there have been training options for pulmonologists, cardiologists, and more.
This goes beyond just studying the ins and outs of healthcare, too. Through virtual reality gaming, these medical professionals are able to perform virtual procedures, making them better equipped to deal with the real thing. As technology continues to evolve, these applications will continue to get better.
This kind of medical advancement will become all the more necessary as our population continues to grow. At least four million Americans are already wearing braces, but this number will rise as our population booms. In order to keep up with demand, training our medical professionals in new ways will be vital in supplying the best healthcare.
Gaming and virtual reality scenarios have also become essential for those who need immersion therapy. Instead of actually causing psychiatric patients to face their fears head-on, gaming has allowed an immersive experience without the threat. This can be great for people trying to get behind the wheel after a drunk driving accident or those interacting with dogs for the first time after a childhood fear. Because the patient is in control of the movements while experiencing the sights and sounds of the game, they’re better able to deal with these stressors in real life.
For those people who have always been interested in biology and healthcare but decided on a different career path, gamification has been incredible. Now, the average person — one who has no background in biochemistry — can help develop vaccines by playing a simple game.
This is a form of citizen science, one where the average Joe helps out the medical community in their spare time. By playing a simple puzzle game online, gamers are able to fold protein structures into different targets, akin to a game like Tetris. There are also games that can help with DNA matching and more.
This kind of science won’t help you finish your Invisalign treatment any sooner, but it can certainly help when it comes to the future of our medical care.
The impact of COVID-19 on gaming
COVID-19 has affected our health in countless ways, especially when it comes to stress. One of the best ways we’ve found to reduce these high levels of stress? Playing video games.
Not that the gaming industry needed any help, but COVID-19 certainly encouraged a boom in gaming this year. Since so many people are on lock-down and spending more time indoors, it only makes sense that we’d pass the time with a controller in hand. Studies have shown that pandemic protocols have caused 35% of people to play more now than they used to. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic has also encouraged 6% of people to invest in new gaming platforms.
Whether you’re training to become a doctor or simply passing the time during lock down, it just goes to show that gaming and healthcare interact more often than you’d think.