Government budget sequestration has led one game company to embark on a crowd-funding campaign for its latest endeavor—a fall prevention video game.
Blue Marble Game Company delivers digital-health games for service members and veterans who have experienced mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
The company has launched its first crowd-funding campaign to develop an interactive falls prevention video game called Zoezi Park, an initiative facilitated by the Alfred E. Mann Institute at the University of Southern California and When You Wish, an online platform for raising money.
Using cameras and sensors to track movement, Zoezi Park, creates a computer-generated avatar that mimics the player onscreen. Users can play from their homes, gym or rehab facility as the video game guides players through activities to improve balance and physical strength while recording data of their progress.
The data can be viewed by any healthcare professional with an internet connection.
Blue Marble’s previous products were funded by the Department of Defense and include Treasure of Bell Island and RESET, which are “ramified” assessments and interventions for cognitive skills.
The National Institute on Aging supported the concept and funded the initial development of Zoezi Park, but due to government sequestration cuts, funding is no longer available. Because of this, Blue Marble is asking for public support to assist them in their development.
So far, Zoezi Park has raised $3,150 in its crowd-funding campaign. And with 33 days left, Blue Marble is currently 11% toward its completion goal, according to stats on When You Wish’s website.
As nearly 10,000 baby boomers turn age 65 each day, with one out of three of them experiencing a fall each year, Blue Marble sees a present need for Zoezi Park, especially as the cost to treat falls is expected to increase over the next 10 years. Currently, each fall-related injury costs $48,000 on average, according to Blue Marble.
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“Falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable,” writes Blue Marble. “Knowing how to reduce the risk of falling is the first step toward this goal.”
Written by Jason Oliva