Videogame Poised to Help Children with Cystic Fibrosis

An innovative new game designed to help children with cystic fibrosis do their breathing exercises is undergoing medical testing at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Konglomerate Games, which recently received $10,000 of funding the Europe-wide Unloc Enterprise challenge sponsored by Verizon, is a company made up of students from Abertay University in Dundee.

Their game, Archipelayo, has been designed around the Fizzyo Sensor, a bluetooth sensor which attaches to the physiotherapy devices which are used to enhance the airway clearance techniques which people with cystic fibrosis perform.

These can be tedious and uncomfortable, and can last for up to an hour. Archipelayo takes this routine, and turns it into a series of fun mini-games.

The game also measures patients’ adherence to their treatment non-intrusively through analytics, and has been designed to encourage the correct techniques to combat the disease’s progression.

It is fully customisable to the patient’s individual exercises and stage of treatment.

Jamie Bankhead, CEO of Konglomerate Games, said: “Around 150 children are participating in the clinical testing across the UK, primarily at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The early signs are quite positive.

“Our data tells us that the average usage time for a player is 20 minutes, and that is fantastic. 80% of the breaths they are taking are deemed to be good quality which is great news.

“This suggests that not only is the fun there, but the medical benefit is there too.”

The medical testing is due to end in November.

Emma Raymond, from the Physiotherapy Research Group at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, said: “The response from the children has been excellent. We’ve had feedback that they are enjoyable, and that the games have made the exercises feel quicker.

“We’ve been told it’s helped them do their exercises in a more effective way, so we’re really pleased at how this has gone.

“We’re absolutely delighted at the collaboration with Abertay and Konglomerate Games. The games they delivered have been of the highest quality.”

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