Thursday, June 26, 2008

Video games to help you breathe better!

The following article appeared on the Web site ARS Techika. While it is about a program for cystic fibrosis, I can see lots of implications for other disorders like pulmonary fibrosis. Hey, entertainiing pulmonary rehabilitiation you can do at home! And lots of people don't take inhalers correctly, so learning to do it with some feedback would be useful!

Games for Health program explores gaming-fitness connection
By Michael Thompson Published: June 25, 2008 - 12:48PM CT
The idea that video games can be used to help both doctors and their patients is
nothing new, but it's a notion that is gaining an increasing amount of credibility. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is providing grant money to a number of research groups via its "Games for Health" program. The grants are intended to explore what gaming can do for health and fitness, and they include an innovative study at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, which received a $189,772 grant from the Foundation.

The program at UVM is the brainchild of Dr. Peter Bingham, an associate professor of neurology and pediatrics. The research project, "Breath Biofeedback Video Game for Children with Cystic Fibrosis," is designed to examine if and how a breath biofeedback video game can improve cystic fibrosis patients' breathing techniques. These techniques will be evaluated by studying things such as self-administration of inhaled medicines and performance in respiratory exercises. Bingham collaborated with a team at
Champlain College's Emergent Media Center to create the game's software and controller.

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