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Geek Therapy
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iPad game hopes to stop HIV transmission

iPad game hopes to stop HIV transmission | Geek Therapy |
Play a sedentary video game and live a healthier life? That’s the hope of Yale researchers who are joining the booming health games industry with an iPad application designed to help minority teens learn about HIV prevention strategies.


As part of Yale’s Play2Prevent initiative, a group from the School of Medicine conducted focus groups with New Haven teens to gain an understanding common factors and behaviors that affect HIV risk. The findings are guiding the design and content of a new iPad game titled PlayForward: Elm City Stories, which aims to promote better decisions among minority youth. The researchers will conduct a study on the game’s impact HIV transmission rates starting later this year.


“The overall goal is to help kids practice skills in the game that will decrease their engagement in behaviors that put them at risk for HIV,” said brief author Lynn Fiellin MED ’96, associate professor of medicine and director of Play2Prevent. “The idea is to build an evidence-based HIV intervention. The game has to be fun and engaging, but it has to accomplish something.”


The game involves creating an avatar who goes through a virtual life and makes decisions revolving around risk behaviors, including unprotected sex and drug and alcohol abuse. The player will be able to see how their choices and actions influence later situations and rewind to play out how making another decision could produce a different outcome. Researchers will study the impact of the game among New Haven teens in an 18-24 month clinical trial starting later this year.

Stephen Aloysius Balas's comment, February 25, 2013 10:30 AM
"Brainwashing" kids to make better choices
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4 Ways iPads Are Changing the Lives of People With Disabilities

4 Ways iPads Are Changing the Lives of People With Disabilities | Geek Therapy |
Touch devices like the iPad are revolutionizing the lives of children, adults and seniors with special needs.


Noah Rahman has moderate Cerebral Palsy affecting his communication, cognition and upper and lower body movement. When he turned two, his language, cognitive abilitity and fine motor skills were diagnosed by a developmental specialist as being at least 12 months behind. Then Noah got an iPad. Four months later, his language and cognition were on par with his age level. His fine motor skills had made significant leaps.


Sami Rahman, co-founder of SNApps4Kids, a community of parents, therapists and educators sharing their experiences using the iPad, iPod touch, iPhone and Android to help children with special needs. 


“Touch has made it exceptionally accessible — everyone has an iPad, everyone has an iPod,” says Michelle Diament, cofounder of Disability Scoop, a source for news relating to developmental disabilities. “If you’re someone with a disability, having something that other people are using makes you feel like part of the in-crowd.”


Here are four ways that touch devices are changing the lives of people with disabilities.

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