Top Healthcare Simulation Serious Games to Engage Clinical Learners
Serious games are a way to engage learners in healthcare simulation scenarios. This is also a way for educators to employ game-based problem-solving parameters within non-game contexts to improve medical simulation training. The use of serious games, also known as applied games, is increasingly useful as many academic institutions have shifted to more remote and virtual learning alternatives. In this article, HealthySimulation.com shares the details of some of the top healthcare simulation serious games to have been released.
Project Hospital (PC): Players can become ace doctors, aspiring architects, and successful managers at the same time. Project Hospital allows learners to design their very own hospital, tweak every detail, or choose one of the prebuilt scenarios and just jump to the doctor’s duty. They can contract different insurance companies to gain access to patients with interesting medical conditions, perform examinations, laboratory tests and use various equipment to solve the diagnostic puzzles. Hospitalize patients, perform surgery, and more. Users can also employ a collection of various objects, materials, and colors to make the experience truly theirs or save players time and use one of many different prefabs. From hiring to specializations, from doctors to janitors, make sure everybody is doing a great job and finds satisfaction in their work.
Medic: Pacific War (PC): In Medic: Pacific War the learners are playing as an American field medic, serving in the US Military on the Pacific Front. Their job will be to take care of wounded companions in the best possible way – according to the knowledge, skills, and medical equipment that they currently have. Often their decisions will affect how the battle or even the whole war unfolds!
Their actions will affect not only the fate of the soldiers they help but also the entire operation. They will receive orders from superiors, soldiers of higher rank and seniority than them, but also requests from their companions. Remember – every life matters, but they can’t save all of them. Decide carefully, but act quickly!
Level Ex: Level Ex (a Brainlab company) creates industry-leading video games for physicians. The company uses state-of-the-art video game technology and cognitive neuroscience to capture the challenges of practicing medicine—revolutionizing the way healthcare professionals advance their clinical skills, earn CME, and keep up-to-speed on challenging cases, new medical devices, drug therapies, and clinical best practices. The company’s medical video games run on phones, tablets, and web browsers with over 750,000 healthcare professionals playing its games.
Build-A-Body: Build-A-Body is a drag-and-drop game where players are tasked with assembling an organ system from a set of organs. Players may then attempt case studies where a functional problem with a system must be linked to the organ affected. Learn about the body’s systems with this drag and drop game. Choose organs from the organ tray, and place them in their correct position within the body to create organ systems.
Anatomy Arcade: Anatomy Arcade makes basic human anatomy come ALIVE through awesome free flash games, interactives and videos. Anatomy Arcade is perfect for the novice teenager in the classroom, right through to students and professionals of health care looking for a fun way to revise.
Foot Doctor: In this game, the learner is a doctor and needs to help patients deal with foot pain. There are many types of pain that can appear, and in this case the learner has to use the medical tools at their disposal to treat the persons in need. Foot Doctor offers amazing, unique ideas that learners can use in order to push their learning to the next level.
Kellogg’s Gut Bacteria Reef (PC): The Kellogg’s Gut Bacteria Reef is an interactive VR simulation experience designed to teach people about gut health. In a world-first, Kellogg’s made the invisible visible. Now learners can get up close to the organisms and diverse flora that live inside the gut, and learn about the importance of fiber in maintaining this thriving ecosystem. Just like any healthy ecosystem, a rise in the dominance of one or more species can upset the balance and affect its overall health.
To educate people on the importance of this, Kellogg’s created an immersive and educational VR experience called the Gut Bacteria Reef. Where viewers can travel into the gut in a virtual submarine to uncover the inner workings of the gut ecosystem for the very first time.
Plague Inc.: Can the player infect the world? Plague Inc. is a unique mix of high strategy and terrifyingly realistic simulation. A pathogen has just infected ‘Patient Zero’. Now the player must bring about the end of human history by evolving a deadly, global Plague whilst adapting against everything humanity can do to defend itself. Included with innovative gameplay and built from the ground up for touchscreen, Plague Inc. from developer Ndemic Creations evolves the strategy genre and pushes mobile gaming (and you) to new levels. It’s The player vs. the world – only the strongest can survive!
Nail Doctor: In this game, the learner is a doctor and all the patients have terrible foot conditions. Scratches, wounds, infections, nasty nails, bacteria, splinters… just name it. Can the learner scrub all the feet clean and fix all these wounds and other unpleasantries? Take good care of patients’ feet in the clinic. Clean all four of the filthy feet and cure them of all ailments. Have fun playing doctor!
Trauma Center: New Blood – Nintendo Wii: At a remote hospital in Alaska, Dr. Markus Vaughn and his partner Valerie Blaylock work in a non-political environment, working only to heal and affect lives in a positive manner. When the facility unexpectedly closes they are forced to return to Concordia Medical Institute, where politics are more important than patients’ lives, and doctors are more concerned with image than their administration. In Trauma Center: New Blood, they are recruited into the government organization Caduceus, where they will learn of a conspiracy with dire ramifications, and their lives will be changed forever.
More About Serious Games
Serious games are computer-based programs designed for both entertainment and learning purposes, by simulating real-world scenarios. These applied games are often applicable across healthcare simulation education and training, with the learning tools able to accurately convey how a procedure or skill is meant to be performed in the field. By combining elements of entertainment with healthcare simulation, learners are able to master these skills in an environment that is engaging, is risk-free, and promotes patient safety.
Research has proven that video games improve the performance of surgeons and that they are a practical method for healthcare simulation training. They also allow learners to make their own decisions and begin to understand what is happening at each point during a serious game’s progression. As such, serious games enhance healthcare simulation training benefits by combining academic lessons with repetitive practice. Therefore, applied games help generate learning outcomes that increase content retention and comprehension, leading to long-term success across clinical settings. As decision-making processes are reinforced, learners are able to go on to become confident professionals and practitioners.
Serious games can further help learners to strengthen their problem-solving skills, adding to their overall professional development. These games are capable of being adapted to meet a variety of healthcare simulation training needs, from diagnosis to surgery. Applied games are helping to train learners in a new and engaging way. In addition, they can generally be played at any time and from anywhere remotely. This real-time cognitive game-based medical simulation education allows healthcare learners to complete coursework on their own time and at their own pace.
Lance Baily, BA, EMT-B, is the Founder & CEO of HealthySimulation.com, which he started while serving as the Director of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas back in 2010. Lance is also the Founder and acting Advisor to the Board of SimGHOSTS.org, the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professionals operating healthcare simulation technologies. His new co-edited Book: “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice” is available now. Lance’s background also includes serving as a Simulation Technology Specialist for the LA Community College District, EMS fire fighting, Hollywood movie production, rescue diving, and global travel. He lives with his wife Dr. Abigail Baily in Las Vegas, Nevada with their newborn daughter and two crazy dachshunds.