This company wants to treat brain diseases with gaming

Brittany A. Roston - Jul 18, 2017
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This company wants to treat brain diseases with gaming

Company Highmark Interactive wants to use video games to treat brain injuries, and it has just raised a bunch of cash to help it in that mission. The company has raised $2m in funds as part of a plan to develop games that will be used as treatments for individuals with brain trauma, though the nature of these games isn’t clear at this time.

Talking about the company’s plans, Highmark CEO Andy Smith said, “We believe our video game technology will revolutionize patient management as it relates to the concussion epidemic and other traumatic brain injuries and diseases.’ The company has previously taken steps toward its goal, not the least of which was acquiring mobile game developer XMG Studio back in June.

Unfortunately, the company is remaining tight-lipped about its further plans, particularly what kind of games it is looking into making and the specific diseases and injuries it aims to treat with them. This isn’t, however, the first time we’ve heard about companies and the medical industry tapping gaming technology as a way to deal with brain damage and conditions.

The ideas for games to treat medical conditions span all sorts of issues. There is, for example, the growing use of virtual reality to treat amblyopia, an eye condition in which one eye is under-utilized. By presenting a VR game in which one aspect of the game is shown to one eye and one to the other eye, the brain is forced to use the vision from both eyes and to bring it together into harmony. Tetris seems to be the most common game used for this treatment.

That particular technology has proven successful enough that Ubisoft even got into the mix, partnering with company Amblyotech to help offer treatment via a game called ‘Dig Rush.’ Video games can also help individuals develop fine motor skills or spatial skills, among other things, though research in this area is still relatively new.

SOURCE: VentureBeat


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