The game, which is in its final phase of testing, is aimed at primary care and family doctors, who often feel uncomfortable and unqualified assessing their patients in this regard.
“This isn’t something medical students have traditionally been trained for,” Dr. Fleming said. “These are hard conversations to have.”
The game encourages doctors to adopt a more collaborative and less accusatory approach with patients, Dr. Olsen said. “The goal is to build rapport,” he said.
The video game was designed based on research by Dr. Michael F. Fleming at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and draws on technology used by the F.B.I. to train agents in interrogation tactics. It teaches doctors to look for warning signs of drug abuse, like a history of family problems, and to observe nonverbal signs of nervousness, like breaking eye contact, fidgeting and finger-tapping.