Stanford School of Medicine has just completed a new video game to help teach medical students to treat sepsis. Sepsis is a severe medical condition that begins as a bacterial infection, and quickly expands to become a systemic disease that can kill patients within hours.
The game, which can be played here, is intended to put doctors into the situation of having to treat patients under the same time limitations that they would encounter in a hospital setting. The player must review patient reports, charts, and history, administer tests and treatments to multiple patients. As the patients’ health decreases, they fall towards the bottom of the screen, and as they are treated (properly) their health increases and they rise towards the top of the screen. The player (or medical student) must manage treating multiple patients before their health drops too low and they die. The game ends when all patients have either been cured or have died.
Though I didn’t enjoy the game much since I do not have the medical background to know how to treat sepsis (and thus lost quickly), this game is another great example about how video games can be used for educational purposes. It may eventually help doctors be better able to treat this rapid and severe disease, and if more games of this type are created, video games may become a large component of medical education.