Introducing Gamer 1: At 14 years old, this gamer has had 12 years gaming experience. Starting out at 2 playing Freddie Fish, he moved into Star Wars Lego games at 6, loved Mario Kart, built hundreds of architecturally designed cities in Minecraft (still a gold favourite) peppering these games with bouts of Team Fortress 2 and FIFA, until he discovered Assassins Creed and shoot-em-up games like Call of Duty.
The game has a really good concept. I like how they’ve integrated Minecraft a popular and well known video game into something that educates children about STIs and health. It’s pretty funny at first, because everyone is having sex and that’s a bit weird. I’ve never seen Minecraft people having sex before. This made me laugh but it could make some people feel uncomfortable. After a while you get used to it and then you realise that it’s actually quite serious that the more sex they have the more diseases they can get.
You feel you’re responsible for these people having sex and spreading diseases as quickly as they do. So you have to stop the spread of disease by giving them safe sex packs and treating them.
Sending them to the clinic to get tested is really good because you learn about the symptoms and the treatments that are available.
The only thing is that you can’t really tell if the person has symptoms – but they should still go to the clinic to get tested just in case they just caught something from the last person they had sex with.
The way the game could be improved would be to give the characters more personality. Perhaps a picture of them (avatar) and a description eg; Brown hair, blue eyes, likes girls, likes boys, likes both, only has sex with one person, has lots of sex, has symptoms, has no symptoms. Make it more personal. You have to take care of them so you might as well know who they are.
Introducing Gamer 2: At 12, this gamer likes to play SIMS, Minecraft, Super Mario Bros, Nintendogs, Wii Sports, Kitty Powers Match Maker. She is an app queen with an iPhone and an attitude.
It’s weird for a 12 year old to see Minecraft characters doing that with each other. We still haven’t had “The Talk” at school but my Mum has told me about all that stuff. I know it’s normal, but it’s still weird. I like the way it looks like Minecraft. The graphics were pretty good. I played for a while and treated some people at the Clinic but I got bored after a while. I didn’t really want to learn about sex and diseases so I stopped playing. I don’t think I’d play again unless the characters were more interesting. Maybe if they had pets or did other stuff.
Turning the corner, I braced myself for another unfathomably academic abstract with a title that reads something like Engineering Human Rhinovirus Serotype A-1 as an HIV Vaccine Vector. My poor overloaded brain just wasn’t able to cope with another poster of stats, graphs and nanotype. So imagine the relief when I turned the corner to find the complete opposite. Here, at the World STI Congress 2015, was a research group who had finally got their game on.
Infection Protection, an initiative from the WA Health Department, are using online gaming to get their Sexual Health messages out to the young (and the young at heart). You can check out Infection Protection by downloading it from www.getthefacts.health.wa.gov.au
Interactive Games Missing their Mark
Interactive games are playing an increasingly important role in education around health and social issues. Check out this list compiled by MedlinePlus to see how much of an influence health games are playing. While the intentions are good, the majority of health games miss their mark. Kids are so much more tech savvy than we realise and in the time it takes to develop and build a game, it’s easy to lose them if the game is lame. Yes, the intentions are good – but are they really reaching their target audience?
Cashing in on the Minecraft Model
Infection Protection appears to have hit their target by channelling the one game that has completely captured kid’s imaginations, Minecraft. Millions of young people from 2-22 are playing Minecraft – the global gaming phenomena that uses blockhead characters to build cities, worlds and galaxies. You can play online with other Minecrafters from across the globe, or offline if you have the demo game.
Infection Protection is a simple game but, from our perspective, the branding is spot on. And, just to be sure, we’re going to ask our 12-14 year old audience to review the game.
Stay tuned for an honest appraisal next week!
PS: We tried to download from the App Store but had a few issues, so we went to Get The Facts and found a whole bunch of other really great sexual health messages for young people.
When you’re hosting an event or conference, using a hashtag is one of the smartest ways to organise and share information at your event. A hashtag is a search term preceded with the # symbol, used within social media to identify tweets and messages around a specific topic. Hashtags are easy once you know how and you can hook into social media conversations quickly and easily by learning how to them. Check out our 5 Top Tips & Tricks to get you hashtagging like a pro.
1. Be unique
With millions of hashtags in use across multiple platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+) it’s important to choose one that’s unique to your event. When you’re choosing a hashtag, check it against existing hashtags using a directory such as www.hashtags.org. It’s best to check before you allocate a hashtag to a particular event. You don’t want your hashtag to be associated with an unrelated event or group not aligned with your core values.
2. Short is best
Considering Twitter has a limit of 140 characters, it’s best to opt for a short hashtag. With shorter hashtags you can avoid using too many tweet characters and stay on message. Our rule of thumb is to use no more than ten characters per hashtag. Use acronyms and dates eg; #eGPS2015
3. Say no to spaces
A hashtag will not become a live tag (a searchable hashtag that links to other tweets and posts listed under that topic) unless it contains absolutely no spaces or punctuation. Adding a space or a comma to a hashtag eg; #eGPS 2015 breaks the hashtag, rendering it virtually useless. It is possible to use an underscore eg; #eGPS_2015
4. Promote your hashtag
In the event lead-up, be sure to promote your unique hashtag across a wide social media audience. Use topic hashtags and link back to the event website. You’ll create interest in the conference theme and drive traffic back to the website where attendees can register.
#eGPS2015 is just around the corner. We’ll be talking
#healthcare & #socialmedia Event program & registration
www.crowdcomms.com.au [132 characters]
At 132 characters, this tweet leaves space for 8 valuable characters. Enough room for someone to RT your tweet, extending the reach of that tweet to a wider audience. Even better, mention a group with an interest in your area by using the @ symbol and their Twitter handle.
@hcsmanz coming to #eGPS2015? Topics include
#healthcare #socialmedia #hcsm Event program & registration
www.crowdcomms.com.au [127 characters]
[#hcsm = healthcare social media; a popular hashtag]
5. Don’t go #crazy
Avoid spattering your tweet with unnecessary or irrelevant hashtags. Apart from appearing unprofessional, a tweet with too many hashtags is unlikely to get retweeted. Keep it simple.
#eGPS2015 Who’s #meeting for #coffee
in the #garden #cafe today? #ilovecoffee #LOL
Best practice is to add your unique event hashtag to every tweet associated with that event. You can add one or two additional topic hashtags and a mention to increase your searchability and RT potential.
Great crowd gathered today at #eGPS2015
talking #media & #health. Thanks @eGPSolutions
for a top session on #hcsm.
Getting the most out of your hashtag is easy when you know how. Using our top tips and tricks will help you to promote your conference or event, expand your audience and share your key messages across social media.
e-GPS regularly attend conferences and events using Twitter hashtags to network and disseminate information. We tweet live from your event, joining online conversations in real-time and share your key conference messages with a wider audience. e-GPS will also deliver interactive Twitter training workshops for your conference attendees.
A message from Dr Ash Collins – CEO Telemedicine Australia
It is my pleasure to welcome you to MyOnlineClinic – a unique hybrid platform that uses state-of-the-art technology to merge all aspects of telemedicine into one virtual clinic.
Australians are increasingly connected and much of our communication takes place via smart devices. With rapidly expanding technology, telemedicine is revolutionising the relationship between health professionals and patients, bringing medical care to a new level in the virtual environment.
With MyOnlineClinic, your patients can measure and record vital health information, upload it to a secure file and schedule appointments with you from the comfort of their own home using a PC, laptop or smart phone. They can receive prescriptions direct to their closest pharmacy or have medications home-delivered.
As a GP, no matter where you are in the world, you can see your patients via smart device, PC or laptop. You can check their vital signs, perform an assessment via face-to-face video consult and arrange for tests, scripts and follow-up visits. MyOnlineClinic is an extension of your day-to-day clinical practice where you conduct consults in the digital space while maintaining your valuable doctor-patient relationship.
Calling all GPs! – Register for the UNSW Pilot Study today
Waiting for up to two hours to see your doctor will be at thing of the past with a new telemedicine app called MyOnlineClinic.
Health and technology have come together to provide medical services using online devices. The benefits of telemedicine is that it allows people who live in rural or remote areas to access health services online while remaining in their community.
With MyOnlineClinic doctors can see patients via an in-app video consult, regardless of their location. MyOnlineClinic is an extension of day-to-day general medical practice. It saves time, money and travel expenses while maintaining that valuable doctor-patient relationship.
Queensland GP Dr Edwin Kruys says some of his patients have chosen to see him because they are aware of his presence on social media and have followed his discussions about health topics.
He draws the line at giving clinical advice online, however, and encourages people with specific presentations to see a doctor in person.
Dr Jill Tomlinson, a Victoria hand surgery specialist, says she uses Twitter and Facebook to share evidence-based information about her services as well as engage with patients.
She led a campaign earlier this year against proposed AHPRA guidelines that would have held doctors responsible for removing unsolicited testimonials posted by patients on websites and social media channels.
She says social media bridges the gap between patients and practitioners and are a force of positive change in healthcare.
Jen Morris, a public health researcher at the University of Melbourne, says doctors who are reluctant to recognise the value of social media may inadvertently lose patients’ trust.
She describes this as “cyber snobbery” and says it discourages patients from being honest with practitioners about why they are worried about a particular drug or vaccine, or about why they want to see a particular specialist.
Patients would continue to research their condition and seek opinion online regardless of discouragement from doctors, she told delegates at the “SoMebytheSea” conference.
The role of the modern doctor, she says, is to proactively address any inaccurate information found online and to navigate their patients to the best resources.
Ms Morris says social media adds to the principle of informed choice by providing ongoing feedback about the quality of service provided by practitioners.
Patients want to know about fees, bedside manner and insurance arrangements just as much as they want to know about medication side-effects and screening test accuracy, she says.
“These are the things that matter to patients and these are the things that they are sharing on social media.”
When we talk about Cloud Adoption, we’re not referring to taking dark and stormy clouds under our wing for some TLC.
Within the information cloud lies the future of health and it’s time to familiarise yourself with Cumulus Technologia.
Why? Because clinical environments not yet ready to adopt new technology may be left hanging in a cloudless sky, adrift in the infinite blue with nothing to hang their patient data on but paper-based records.
This article from Rob Khamas at Rend Tech Associates published in Pulse+IT Magazine urges health practices to embrace cloud based technology – to find that silver lining, learn all there is to learn about it and make the cloud part of your daily practice.
Thanks for Pulse+IT Magazine for publishing yet another excellent article and for their ongoing support for health practitioners everywhere in navigating the eHealth space. Reach for the sky and keep on going…
Do you often stare at the grocery shelves hoping the healthy food choices will jump out at you? Sure, we all know there is a wealth of nutrition information printed on the side of our food packets, but who has time to stand with two cereal packets in hand comparing carbohydrates and saturated fats?
Bupa has come to the rescue – practically pushing the healthy options into your trolley with their new app FoodSwitch. It’s a simple interface – just scan and compare. There are also GlutenSwitch and SaltSwitch options within the same app.
We downloaded FoodSwitch as soon as we heard about it and it has not only saved us time but introduced us to healthier options – sometimes at a reduced price. That’s a win-win for busy people who want to eat well.
As part of their growing suite of mobile apps, Griffith University has launched a unique app that helps headache sufferers record the severity and regularity of their pain.
The app, essentially a headache diary, forms part of the ENHANCE project, which is investigating the effectiveness of managing headaches using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and a new approach called learning to cope with triggers (LCT).
The Griffith University research team, led by Professor Paul Martin of the Behavioural Basis of Health program, aims to help people with headache become desensitised to triggers such as food, noise and stress, or to build up a tolerance to them. Read more about the EASE approach for dealing with headache triggers on the Headache Australia website.
According to Professor Martin, the new app – developed in partnership with African Startup company Wexpert Technologies, – will help improve research outcomes by directly downloading the diary into data files, enabling the research team to know when he ratings of head pain are made, rather than relying on the self reports of the participants.
“This app will benefit the ENHANCE project but will also be a very useful tool for other headache researchers around the world,” said Professor Martin.
Griffith University has also launched another app, designed to help patients with chronic fatigue syndrome better manage their illness. Called CliniHelp, it is also suitable for patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, allowing them to record symptoms, track them on a weekly basis, and monitor changes in their condition.
Do you suffer from headaches?
The ENHANCE project is currently seeking 120 participants between the ages of 18 and 75 years who regularly experience six or more headache days per month.