Cigna Offers Cancer-Fighting Video Game To Patients - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
5/30/2007
03:37 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Cigna Offers Cancer-Fighting Video Game To Patients

HopeLab claims that cancer patients who play Re-Mission have more successful treatment than those who don't play the game.

Video games have long offered escapist entertainment, a chance to role play and master new worlds through a combination of quick thinking and adept hand-eye coordination. Having recognized the potential for HopeLab's Re-Mission game, which features a cancer-fighting nanobot named Roxxi, to help educate and entertain stricken teens, Cigna Healthcare announced Wednesday a partnership with HopeLab to put the game in the hands of tens of thousands of young patients undergoing cancer treatment.

Re-Mission is free to these patients and can be downloaded via Cigna's Web site. Although the game has been around since April 2006 and HopeLab has shipped more than 76,000 copies, the deal with Cigna offers a distribution channel to that company's network of physicians and vast membership, which covers more than 60,000 employers and about 47 million individuals.

More interesting than the game itself -- a 3-D "shooter" scenario where Roxxi, clad in form-fitting silver body armor, floats through a cancer patient's body zapping bacteria, fat globules, and leukemia cells with her multipurpose med blaster -- are HopeLab's claims that patients who play Re-Mission have more successful treatment than those who don't play the game.

"We found that the game has enormous efficacy, giving young patients control and power over their cancer," HopeLab president Pat Christen told InformationWeek.

HopeLab, a nonprofit founded in 2001 by Pamela Omidyar, wife of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, claims to have validated the benefits of its cancer-fighting video game by conducting a randomized, controlled trial with 375 male and female cancer patients ages 13 through 29, enrolled at 34 medical centers in the United States, Canada, and Australia. According to HopeLab, findings first presented last year indicate that "playing Re-Mission produced increases in quality of life, self-efficacy, and cancer-related knowledge for adolescents and young adults with cancer."

Cigna first became aware of Re-Mission when the health care company's medical director, Dr. Glenn Pomerantz, became interested in the results of HopeLab's research results. Pomerantz later approached HopeLab about the possibility of promoting and distributing the game directly to its members.

One practical explanation of Re-Mission's benefits is that, by promoting awareness of the disease and offering young patients an understanding of how it can be fought, these patients are more likely to adhere closely to their treatment regimens. With this in mind, Cigna says it's sending the game in CD and DVD formats to member pediatricians, oncologists, pediatric oncologists, and hospitals.

So-called "shooter" games, in which players attack opponents to achieve their objectives, have often come under harsh criticism for promoting violence. Christen says she considered this concern while HopeLab tested Re-Mission. But the game's premise and purpose far outweighed any downside of having Roxxi let loose her weapons on her enemies. "These kids are literally in a fight for their lives," she says, adding that it's empowering for them to blast away at a disease that poses such a great threat to them. "It's quite an appropriate use of these weapons, and there's never any harm to another human being."

HopeLab says its next major initiative will target obesity using insights gained from the development and study of Re-Mission.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll