You are hereTaking Personal Responsibility for Our Own Health Reform
Taking Personal Responsibility for Our Own Health Reform
by Julia Loughran, iConecto - Gaming4Health.com
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak on Capitol Hill as part of a special event hosted by the same group that hosts this wonderful blog - Disruptive Women in Health Care, and its media partner The Hill. The topic was "Health eGaming, Healthy Patients: Supporting Stimulus Goals Through Health eGaming." I was there to speak about the opportunities health eGames can bring to healthcare, both as forms of preventative care (e.g., exer-games that get people up and moving and games that promote healthy behaviors, like healthy eating and smoking cessation), as well as games that can help with acute and chronic disease management (e.g., asthma, cancer and diabetes).
The Honorable Nancy L. Johnson, Former Chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee opened the session, stressing that change was needed in health care and one of the main changes was the need to focus on the patient. "The real reason the patient is going to become the most important person in the healthcare system," according to Johnson, is "you can't do prevention without them."
This point really resonated with me because it made me think about personal responsibility. When it comes right down to it, our health and the reform of our health behaviors rests in our own hands. We have the tools, the information, and now hundreds of health eGames that can help us live healthier and longer lives. Do we need to wait for the U.S. government to prescribe these games (which I understand will take years of slogging through regulatory barriers and miles of bureaucratic paperwork), or can we all just go out and start taking advantage of the great stuff already out there?
iConecto has done the leg work to capture a database of the nearly 600 health eGames and 500 plus mobile applications, many of which are featured and reviewed on our consumer portal Gaming4Health.com. So, if you want to be more active, why not try out some of the many titles designed for the Wii? We had Congressional Staffers at yesterday's event that were breaking into a real sweat after just a few minutes jogging to a game on Active Life's Outdoor Challenge. Exer-games like Outdoor Challenge, Wii Fit, and Dance, Dance Revolution are a much better way to spend an evening with your family instead of passively watching Dancing With the Stars on TV. But, if Dancing with the Stars is something you love, then why not do it yourself with the Wii version? And if it is your brain you want to exercise, there are many web sites filled with fun and interactive games that will give your gray matter a work out. Some of the popular brain fitness sites include Happy Neuron, Sharp Brains, and Lumosity.
Being healthy and having an active lifestyle isn't as hard as it used to be. Today there are mobile and iPhone apps that will provide you with your own virtual fitness coach, or you can try yoga or track your steps, or if you are competitive, you can find online health and fitness competitions.
We all have the resources to be healthier, we just need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for leading healthier lives - and there is no reason why we can't have a lot of fun while we shed a few pounds, eat better, and work our noggins. So, what are you waiting for? Get out and play a little. It will be fun and good for you!
Julia Loughran is a Vice President at iConecto – Gaming4Health.com. She can be reached at Julia@iConecto.com and 703.628.6969. Julia has 22 years experience in the areas of serious game development, virtual collaboration, team performance metrics, team building and facilitation. Her clients include government and non-governmental organizations including DoD, DHS, DARPA and the United States Institute for Peace. She is the author of “Taming the Cyber Tooth Tiger: Adapting to a Networked, Digital World” and co-author of the “Health eGames – How Video Games, Social Media and Virtual Worlds will Revolutionize Health.” Julia has a Master's of Science Degree in Artificial Intelligence/Information Systems from George Washington University, Washington, DC.
iConecto – (www.iconecto.com ) is a leading digital media company specializing in Health eGames, social media, immersive training and virtual worlds for better health and performance. iConecto designs, develops and deploys licensed and custom solutions that address vital needs of leading health and government organizations. The company is the sponsor of Gaming4Health.com which delivers daily health e-games news and a social networking portal for consumers and professionals to share their knowledge, experiences and resources.
'Health eGaming, Healthy Patients: Supporting Stimulus Goals Through Health eGaming.':
Disruptive Women in Health Care and iConecto with their media partner, The Hill conducted this its first in a series of briefings on April 15 in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.