Video Game Tech Teaches Parents and Children About Surgeries


Stanford-heart-repair-screenshot3This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast I found a great article on new avenues for patient and family education that is really cool. New video game style technology is now being used to help educate children and their family members about upcoming surgeries and procedures thanks to an initiative started by Stanford Children’s Health in the San Francisco Bay area.

Stanford Children’s Health collaborated with Lighthaus, Inc. a company that creates video game style animations to create educational, interactive 3D videos that help families understand congenital heart defects and the procedures used in surgery to correct them. Families don’t often understand the complicated 12-hour surgery used to correct these defects. They just sign on the dotted line and trust the medical team. This is not really informed consent, nor do you have an educated patient or caregiver who can help with care after the surgery.

The use of this type of creative animation can be used help many different types of patients understand what is going on with their conditions and health. According to the article, because the video education program is interactive, it allows the patients and family members to “help” complete the procedure in the simulation and that interaction creates much deeper understanding about what is occurring in the surgery. I look for other creative patient education techniques to continue to crop up as technology becomes more and more available for such things.


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