Can Apps And Video Games Help Patients During COVID-19?

By Brian Wallace Brian Wallace has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on April 24, 2020

As COVID-19 shuts down society, people are unable to get the medical attention they need in a lot of instances if it is considered nonessential. In other places healthcare providers are shutting down offices to all but the most necessary cases, leaving folks to deal with telemedicine, teletherapy, and more by looking at the ways that video games help patients. Things that can go untreated for a little while often are. But in the case of new digital therapeutics, more treatments can be available from home to treat a wide variety of ailments.

Video games are not the future of medicine—they’re the present.

Video games help patients, and other telemedicine and interactive apps are at the forefront of medicine these days. We aren’t just using them for telemedicine, either. Video games with artificial intelligence can be used to treat autism, ADHD, multiple sclerosis and more.

The AI can adjust to make levels harder in order to encourage the desired user behavior. While these therapies are best used in conjunction with traditional therapies, in the current state of the world they are far better than doing nothing at all.

These games work to improve working memory, executive functioning, and selective attention. The gameplay is specifically designed to enhance certain skills that are lacking in a given patient, and the AI adapts to the patient’s skill level and participation. Even sensory and motor stimuli round out the experience to give the patient the best possible therapeutic advantage.

Apps are also being used to treat addiction, which is wholly necessary right now but also difficult to treat given the circumstances. While inpatient facilities are often costly and scarce, being in a facility with close proximity to others is inadvisable right now altogether.

Apps to treat addiction are best used in conjunction with traditional outpatient treatment, but as that is a risky business right now the apps can be used in conjunction with teletherapy to achieve a better overall result during these difficult times. 

The opioid crisis isn’t resting just because there’s a pandemic—in fact it could be getting worse due to the added stress from the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn. If ever there were a need for alternatives to traditional substance abuse treatment, it is now.

Immersive VR programs can be used to help treat chronic pain conditions by sensitizing or desensitizing patients to stimuli, which can make trips to the doctor after the pandemic is over much easier. 

This pandemic won’t be around forever, but foregoing treatment on treatable illnesses doesn’t have to happen. Learn more about digital therapeutics from the infographic below.

By Brian Wallace Brian Wallace has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Brian Wallace is a Columnist at Grit Daily. He is an entrepreneur, writer, and podcast host. He is the Founder and President of NowSourcing and has been featured in Forbes, TIME, and The New York Times. Brian previously wrote for Mashable and currently writes for Hacker Noon, CMSWire, Business 2 Community, and more. His Next Action podcast features entrepreneurs trying to get to the next level. Brian also hosts #LinkedInLocal events all over the country, promoting the use of LinkedIn among professionals wanting to grow their careers.

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