One of the major roadblocks between improving healthcare is the low level of individual patient engagement. It is difficult to get patients to be involved in their own healthcare, even when it comes to serious illnesses. A relatively recent phenomenon, however, is changing all of that—mobile gaming.
According to Dr. Steven J. Hardy, from the Children’s National Health system, “The mobile aspect of the program is really important for a lot of reasons,” Hardy said. “It reduces burden on families. If we can give them something at home instead of taking them one more time to the hospital, that’s great. Another reason is we know a lot of times, skills we teach kids in office, clinic or hospital don’t necessarily transfer to real word.”
The pilot of this program has now been in motion for almost a year with different ages of children among diverse socioeconomic statuses participating.
“My hopes in doing this research is to shine a light on sickle cell diseases as a whole, and the neuro-cognitive effects that get overshadowed by other symptom,” Hardy adds. “My hope is that we’re able to find something families enjoy doing that can produce meaningful benefits.”
So far, the pilot has made interactions between doctors and patients much more collaborative, allowing the doctor to pass some of the burden of individual healthcare to the patient.