VR Gamifies Disease Prevention
Cigna – global health, dental, and supplemental insurance provider for individuals and families – introduced the “BioBall”, virtual reality, and AR field service attempt at prevention. The BioBall is a handheld, electronic orb that works with a virtual reality headset to guide users through an interactive game while measuring a couple of vital signs. Noting that high blood pressure, cholesterol, and other controllable factors cause chronic diseases, Cigna created “a virtual reality game designed to complete health screenings and deliver pertinent health information to customers”.
A trained BioBall expert helps participants with the registration process, including a blood pressure test. The players use a bowling-type ball during a one-minute race to capture all the images that flash on a screen before them. According to Cigna, “The BioBall senses a player’s pulse, which determines the ball’s movement and uses responsive lighting to connect the game experience with the player’s heartbeat. Once players finish the game, they immediately receive their health numbers privately on their headsets. An email with health suggestions is sent immediately to the email address that players provide when they register.”
Cigna sees BioBall as an innovative way assisted by VR and AR field service which encourages people to take control of their health. Research shows that four health numbers – blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar, and cholesterol – are responsible for the majority of preventable chronic disease and health care costs. Cigna’s goal is to help people learn their four health numbers and make this process easy, quick, and painless.
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