Keeping patients moving

By Rob Holliday, University Communications

Two Carolina professors have teamed up to keep patients at the UNC Children’s Hospital active and on the move during their treatments. Steven King, assistant professor of emerging technologies and multimedia journalism, and Richard Hobbs, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the School of Medicine, have created an augmented reality video game designed for pediatric hospital patients called Adventure Squad.

The game encourages children to get out of bed, move in the hallways, interact with staff, participate in therapies and be entertained, all while decreasing medical complications and shortening hospital stays. The Adventure Squad product line is designed to be nonprofit, possibly generating donations for hospitals where the game is played.

“We are trying to take it from a proof of concept from the prototype, and turn it into a professional game,” King said. “Our goal with Adventure Squad is to get this game into the hands of every hospitalized child across the country.”

The project is one of two faculty-led teams working on products to help people outside the University that received a C. Felix Harvey Award to Advance Institutional Priorities at Carolina, which supply $75,000 in funding toward each project.

Read the full story and watch the video at UNC.edu to learn more about how Adventure Squad puts patients into a superhero role, letting them assume powers and defeat obstacles, while interacting with floor-specific details of the hospital’s setting.