We already knew that video games calm kids before surgery more effective than tranquilizers or parental presence. During the Video Game/Entertainment Industry Technology and Medicine Conference, Dr. James Rosser Jr. explained how video games can also help doctor improve their medical skills.
Surgeons who play video games three hours a week have 37 per cent fewer errors and accomplish tasks 27 per cent faster, he says, basing his claims on tests using video games.
Rosser has had over 5,000 subjects play “Super Monkey Ball” as well as practice techniques of laparoscopic surgery (that uses minimally-invasive techniques to repair injuries) by suturing a sponge with long probes and dropping a pea into a hole.
Video games also have much to offer the military. For example, the TATRC “STATCare” is a virtual simulator for combat medics that lets them bandage wounds, apply tourniquets, administer intravenous fluids, inject medications and make other assessments they would be required to do in a battlefield.
“The Journey to Wild Divine,” a $160 game that relies on biofeedback, features heart-rate and skin-conduction monitors hooked to players’ fingers. They must control their heart rate and stress levels to bring responses in line with the demands of the game.
Another product is a system that applies technology to hand rehabilitation — patients wear a special sensor-laden glove and control a video game by doing exercises. In the classic game “Asteroids,” rotating the wrist moves a spaceship left and right, while making a fist fires cannons.