SXSW Newsflash: Video Games aren’t Killing our Kids

One of the most impactful points from day 1 was made by Joanne Strober of Kurbo, a mobile platform for delivering health interventions for overweight and obese children. She often hears from people that tech is the villain and technology such as gaming consoles are killing our kids. In fact 35% of children in the US were obese by 1999 only rising to 38% today.  This actually predates the mass adoption of video gaming we see nowadays.

Strober has found that delivering information and coaching to children in a gamified via a platform (mobile) that they feel happy and comfortable interacting with is a luxury that never used to exist and delivers better results than ever before in terms of adoption, maintenance and ultimately, health outcomes.

She went on to say that mobile as a platform is particularly powerful in disadvantaged areas contrary to the popular belief that this type of technology excludes those most in need. While children in disadvantaged communities don’t tend to own computers, her data shows that 90% have smartphones. Patients therefore don’t need to rely on a parent transporting them to appointments, nor do they need to rely on historic knowledge from a nutrition education session they attended weeks ago.

Mobile platforms allow healthcare providers to interact with patients remotely, and more importantly, frequently. This offers a level of care and support that simple wasn’t scalable without technology. Strober believes that AI is the next step to genuinely scalable personalised care, but that’s a whole other panel!

By: Fleur Horner

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