Evaluating efficacy and validating games for health

Primary care physicians (PCPs) from South of Brazil were invited by phone or email to participate in an unblinded randomized controlled trial and randomly allocated to play the game Insu Online, installed as an app in their own computers, at the time of their choice, with minimal or no external guidance, or to participate in a traditional CME session, composed by onsite lectures and cases discussion.

Both interventions had the same content and duration (~4 h).

In the game group, 69 of 88 (78%) completed the intervention, compared with 65 of 73 (89%) in the control group, with no difference in applicability.

Percentage of right answers in the competence subscale, which was 52% at the baseline in both groups, significantly improved immediately after both interventions to 92% in the game group and to 85% in control (PThe game Insu Online was applicable, very well accepted, and highly effective for medical education on insulin therapy.

New technologies such as virtual reality and e-learning applications bring new possibilities not only in the field of medical training but also for other health professions and could lead to valuable improvement in learning outcomes [2–4].

Friedman described the importance of using new media in medical education [5].

Training and education of healthcare workers are of primary importance for patient safety.

In 1999 a study estimated that preventable medical errors accounted for 44000–98000 patient deaths annually in US hospitals [1].

This study proved the importance of a more accurate medical education and subsequently many actions were taken to reform the field of medical education.

Serious gaming describes a technology that can educate and train while entertaining users.

This type of training can be very useful for health professions because it improves learning outcomes creating a learner oriented approach and providing a stealth mode of teaching.

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