Video games developed to help children with cystic fibrosis

Students from Abertay University have made Archipelayo to help patients through their breathing exercises.

Video games developed to help children with cystic fibrosis Abertay University

Scottish game designers have developed a new software to help children with cystic fibrosis do their breathing exercises.

Students at Abertay University have created Archipelayo, which is now undergoing testing at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Physiotherapy can be uncomfortable and can last up to an hour but Archipelayo turns the treatment into a series of mini games and encourages the correct techniques to stop the disease getting worse.

Children can control the game by using their airway clearance devices, with each breath being converted into an electronic signal.

It is fully customisable to the patient’s stage of treatment and can measure their progress through analytics collected by data.

Cystic Fibrosis is a life-shortening illness in which excessive mucus builds up in the lungs, leading to blocked airways and progressive lung conditions. 

Jamie Bankhead, CEO of Konglomerate Games, said: “Around 150 children are participating in the clinical testing across the UK, primarily at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The early signs are quite positive.

‘We’ve had feedback that they are enjoyable, and that the games have made the exercises feel quicker.’

Emma Raymond, the Physiotherapy Research Group

“Our data tells us that the average usage time for a player is 20 minutes, and that is fantastic. 80% of the breaths they are taking are deemed to be good quality which is great news.

“This suggests that not only is the fun there, but the medical benefit is there too.”

Emma Raymond, from the Physiotherapy Research Group at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, said: “The response from the children has been excellent.

“We’ve had feedback that they are enjoyable, and that the games have made the exercises feel quicker.”

The medical testing is due to end in November.

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