The Gamification of Pain Management Arrives as Kinect Pushes Beyond Physical Therapy

4-21-2013 6-26-33 PM

The New York Times covers new research efforts aimed at applying digital health tools to aid doctors and clinicians in the practice of pain management. With devices like Microsoft’s Kinect already widely used to support physical therapy treatments, scientists are now looking at how gamification can benefit other clinical areas.

Researchers at Children’s National Medical Center are spearheading the initiative with four new video games created specifically to help clinicians more precisely measure pain, limits of motion associated with pain, and pain triggers. The overall goal of the project is to further quantify pain to aid both in diagnosis and in treatment of chronic pain.

“Physicians don’t often recognize pain as a pathology, and so patients end up seeing a lot of doctors trying to figure out what’s wrong.” – Dr. Sarah Rebstock, Pediatric Anesthesiologist at Children’s National Medical Center

Hamid Ekbia, PhD of the Indiana University Bloomington is developing a similar system to help measure treatment progress in stroke patients.

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