Monday, April 8, 2013

Serious Gaming To Manage Kids’ Pain

Serious Games changing the way doctors measure children's pain


Via: Children's National Medical Center - How The Children's National Medical Center Is Using Kinect-based Videogames To Assess And Manage Kids' Pain

The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., opened a new pain care complex on April 3, aiming to eliminate pain in young patients by using Serious Games (Please find also Serious Games Set To Transform Healthcare).

Children's Pain Medicine Care Complex is one of only a few programs in the country focused exclusively on managing pain for infants, children, and teens. When children are unable to express their pain in words, pediatric specialists have the unique insight to help.

Utilizing specially designed games combined with Microsoft’s Kinect technology, participants can improve their health without realizing they’re receiving treatment. The series of games were developed specially for the hospital as "Intergalactic Olympics", placing kids in an intergalactic world where they can paint, play and exercise, all while doctors analyze their range of motion. 

Children's Pain Medicine Care Complex


A Multi-Sensory Room (MSR) in which a physical therapist uses video gaming therapy that distracts the patient, while measuring and treating pain through Kinect technology, targeting 24 musculoskeletal points in the body, combined with a proprietary software application to gather patient data in real-time

A Game Changer for Children’s Pain Management - Distract, Measure, Treat

The program changes the way medical professionals address pain medicine, says Dr. Sarah Rebstock, clinical director and a leader in the initiative.

It's often difficult to understand pain, particularly in children, due to its subjective nature. Usually, doctors only have measurements on a scale of one to ten to use as reference, while the pain measurement tool commonly used for kids is simply a series of smiley faces with varying expressions of happiness or sadness. Patients are released with improved conditions but still suffer from discomfort.

Children’s National Medical Center has identified a promising solution to this problem that objectively brings disruptive innovation to pain medicine and simultaneously creates a sustainable healthcare business model for the hospital.

The Pain Medicine Care Complex offers a new comprehensive, multidisciplinary pediatric pain medicine approach— Distract, Measure, Treat — that is fueling more comprehensive pediatric pain medicine research and helping children and their families achieve a higher quality of life.

The Serious Games serve as a distraction for the children but also target their bodies the same way a physical therapy session would. Not only can doctors monitor heart rate or motion, but based on the observations, they can change treatment and therapy in real-time to adjust to kids' abilities.



"It distracts kids from pain," says hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Stinebiser, "but also provides a data collection tool that will allow therapists to move away from subjective assessments of how a kid is progressing by taking quantitative measurements while the kids play."

That shift could be a game changer in the medical world.


The goal is eventually to expand the program to help adult patients, too. For now, pediatric patients are the focus because "children too often get left behind," Rebstock said.


About The Pain Medicine Care Complex


The Pain Medicine Care Complex utilizes one-of-a-kind video gaming therapy, holistic therapeutic tools, and digital data collection to enable short and long-term measurement of patient progress. For the first time, physicians are able to quantitatively measure pain and assess treatment progress in pediatric patients—all within an environment that was specially designed for their needs. The data collected during therapy allows the physician to determine the optimal course of treatment for each patient and forms the backbone of the ongoing research in the Institute. Through a cost-effective, continuous loop where data drives clinical care, and clinical care drives future research, Children’s National is developing innovative, evidence-based solutions to help eliminate pediatric pain, transforming the way care is delivered to children in the United States and around the world.

Until now, it has been impossible to quantitatively measure and monitor chronic pain in children; the current standard of care is for children to point to a smiley face on a spectrum from happy to sad. Children’s National Medical Center and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation have identified a promising solution to this problem that brings disruptive innovation to pain medicine and simultaneously creates a sustainable healthcare business model.

The Pain Medicine Care Complex, which is part of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National, offers a new comprehensive, multidisciplinary pediatric pain medicine approach that is fueling more comprehensive pediatric pain medicine research, saving costs, and helping children and their families achieve a higher quality of life.

Learn more about the clinical care in the Pain Medicine Care Complex