Jarrell Discusses 'Virtual Patient' Game Funding Issues

A new report from The Hollywood Reporter has highlighted, among other things, efforts by transplant surgeon Dr. Bruce Jarrell to work with a game
A new report from The Hollywood Reporter has highlighted, among other things, efforts by transplant surgeon Dr. Bruce Jarrell to work with a game developer in order to help create a virtual patient that can be used as a training aid for physicians. Jarrell, who also serves as the vice dean for academic affairs at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore which is again hosting the Games for Health conference, indicated that while the simulation is functional today, it needs funding for a game developer to create the graphics needed to make his software compelling. Many such developers are expected to attend the upcoming conference, which will include more than 30 sessions concerning ways in which video and computer gaming are influencing the health and healthcare industries. Sessions will cover products and projects aimed at personal health, exergaming, professional health care training and skill development, epidemics and disaster response, obesity, and health messaging. The organizers of Games of Health 2006 expect over 300 attendees for the event, including researchers, developers, health and healthcare professional and other stakeholders in games and healthcare. "We expect some of the attendees to be people who may have an interest in funding some of these projects," Jarrell commented in the report. "For instance, we had quite a turnout from the Defense Department last year, which might seem odd. But the Armed Forces have plenty of people who need to learn medicine. And remember that more people in the military get sick from appendicitis than they do from gunshot wounds." Concerning the link between his work as a doctor and the use of video games as a 'serious' tool in the evolution of his profession, he added that “ games offer a new avenue to learn things in a different way. What the conference does is to raise the level of consciousness about this whole area and its potential."

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