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We’re exposed to environmental hazards every waking hour of the day. Most of our waking hours are spent at work whether 300 feet off the ground as a construction worker or avoiding blood splatter as a practicing medical resident. So what happens when you get injured on the job?

The Injuries is a website aimed at helping those injured on work to connect, share experience, and most importantly take action. The injury list ranges from Mesothelioma to Silicosis, each with an explanation of the injury. While the idea is interesting, the discussion board is filled not with discussions related to injuries but rather spam.

Nonetheless, the idea of creating a way for those injured to connect is an intriguing idea but needs better execution. One could not help but wonder if the site was developed by someone who was injured or by an lawyer who has taken ambulance chasing to the web.

Games for Health Fourth Annual Conference 2008 will be held from May 8 – May 9 in Baltimore MD. The Serious Games Initiative, a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, is the force behind this project. The goal is to spark the impact of games and game technologies on healthcare and policy.

There’s always buzz about Health 2.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0 etc, but in my opinion, the next big thing will be Medutainment. Can you see a bunch of healthcare professionals discussing during lunch, the latest clinical trials for a drug x or rather that “cool medical game” they just played or the new XBOX game that is helping pediatric patients with disorders cope with their condition?

According to a new survey released by comScore today, sixty percent of women turn to the Internet and Web sites for health information.

Eighty-two percent of respondents reported turning to medical professionals for health information, while 51% said they consult their friends, family or significant others.

The survey also found that 85% of women who use the Internet have researched women’s health issues online, while nearly two out of three women who use the Internet have researched birth control options online.

Results are based on a survey of 921 women ages 18 to 44.

marble-blast-ultra-20051221062258837.jpgTo the numerous list of health innovations the Wii can do, we add in improving surgery performance by 50%.

The BBC reports that researchers at the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center studied eight surgeon trainees who trained for an hour on a Wii before performing 50% better on a virtual surgery simulator. Their scores excelled in the areas of tool control and overall performance as compared to those who did not.

The game in question is called Marble Mania, which involves moving a marble through a 3D maze.

To be fair, the researchers should pit these “Wii-surgeons” against those who meditate, visualize, pray, or perform hand exercise before surgery.

In any case, the researchers claim that the fine movement of a ball through a maze are complementary to skills which would help a surgeon in surgery.  They also suggested that perhaps spending $250 for a surgery prep device is a great alternative for poorer countries to train their surgeons as compared to buying an expensive surgery virtual simulator.

Read more on: Health Games, Medutainment, Tech

Crayon Physics Deluxe is a game developed by Kloonigames. It is a sequel to the freeware game, Crayon Physics. The creator describes the game as a “2D physics puzzle game” in which objects that you draw are transformed to objects that can physically interact with one another on your Tablet PC. The challenge of the game is to solve puzzles using your artistic vision and creativity. Crayon Physics Deluxe is still in development and will launch soon.

This is an interesting concept that can be applied to foster a child’s development and creativity. While technology such as LeapFrog develops a child’s math and spelling skills, games such as Crayon Physics Deluxe will foster their problem-solving skills and introduce kids to relationships between objects.

myopencarelogo.pngMyOpenCare, a health site that we previously mentioned has announced a compelling competition.

The site has announced the “Create an H-Book and Win Company Shares” contest. In an effort to encourage greater member involvement in the site, the company will offer the winner of the best H-Book 0.5% shares in the company and those finishing second through sixth place will each receive 0.1% of MyOpenCare shares. The H-Book, otherwise known as the Health Book, is is a feature that every User has access too. It allows users to display information about particular disease states and conditions. However, unlike Wikipedia, MyOpenCare gives credit to the author.

The contest is a smart marketing move by MyOpenCare – increase user participation while promoting quality information.

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As mentioned earlier in an article on Disaboom, a site should be accessible to a wide range of users. A lot of sites incorporate flash which is not user-friendly for blind individuals who utilizes screen readers. In the realm of healthcare, sites that are developed for patients should take note to build a site that is user-friendly and accessible to different types of the patient population. With that said, an interesting article on Businessweek discusses and asks the question of: “Is your web site handicap-accessible?”

Highlights of the article:

  • Class action law suit against Target filed in 2006 Alameda County by National Federation of the Blind : Law suit alleges that Target’s refusal to make its website accessible to the Blind violates the Americans Disabilities Act
  • Having a site revamped for disability access may cost $5,000 to $15,000 but return on investment from increased search engine optimization
  • Find a web designer who is familiar with Section 508 Compliance

SEX ID
A set of visual challenges developed by psychologists to [Source: BBC World]:

  • Get a brain sex profile and find out if you think like a man or a woman.
  • See if you can gaze into someone’s eyes and know what they’re thinking.
  • Find out why scientists are interested in the length of your fingers.
  • See how your results relate to theories about brain sex

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How Pregnancy Happens
When does pregnancy occur? It’s a simple question but a lot of people are confused about the process. This is a flash clip developed to illustrate the process. The character design is…explicit but the explanation is entertaining.

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SearchMedica is a search engine developed primarily for physicians. Unlike other engines that search the entire world-wide web for information, SearchMedica only delivers results from websites dedicated to health professionals. These websites may include credible journals, evidence-based articles, and national associations.

Results are neatly categorized into areas that are meaningful to a clinician. The categories include:

  • Research Reviews and Editorials
  • Practice Guidelines
  • Patient Education Materials
  • Clinical Trials for Patients
  • Continuing Medical Education

The engine was developed by CMP Healthcare Media.

This is a useful engine for those practicing in family medicine. It cuts out the clutter and delivers relevant and useful information.

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WiiFit was launched in Japan and will not be available in the United States until next year. However, if you are really gung-ho about getting your hands on this game package, you can try snagging one at Success-HK, Play-Asia, or Amazon Japan.

wifitlogo.gifThe WiiFit bundle comes with a copy of the WiiFit and the Wii Balance Board. The game begins by calculating your BMI which it then uses to set your individual fitness goals. After the game obtains the necessary information, your body receives a “real age” based upon your BMI rating along with the appearance of your avatar. So you may be older or younger, based upon your “real age” and how healthy you’ve been keeping yourself. After the 20 seconds the system takes to determine your BMI, you have a variety of games to choose from, including yoga, skiing, and soccer.

Just how popular is WiiFit? It is currently the top selling game on Amazon Japan [Source: PunchJump] with product reviews averaging 4.5/5. The WiiFit is going to make a huge splash in the United States with plans of launching next year.

This is probably the ultimate combination of Health and Games 2.0 combined. Who knew that being healthy could be so much fun?

[Picture Sources: iDorkas , GoNintendo]
[Source: Famitsu]

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Picture 1: The line for WiiFit [Famitsu]

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Picture 2: The Wii Fit System [GoNintendo]

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Picture 3: WiiFit Yoga [IDorkas]

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Picture 4: WiiFit Games [IDorkas]

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Picture 5: WiiFit Checking out [Famitsu]

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[Last modified: 12/08/07]