Are you “game” for health?

WP_000358I’m writing this from Amsterdam where I am halfway through an extended business trip in Europe. I started my journey in London (by way of Paris). In the UK, I traveled from Southampton to Northampton and all around London proper to visit various NHS and private hospitals in England. My next stop was in Stockholm, Sweden, where colleagues drove me to Linkoping for a visit with clinicians and hospital executives. At each stop I have had an opportunity to share information about Windows 8, Surface, Windows Phone 8 and the new generation of touch-enabled laptops, ultrabooks, tablets and other devices that will help facilitate a more flexible, mobile work-style for clinicians and others who work in healthcare.

Games for HealthWP_000380This morning I had the distinct honor of providing the opening keynote for the 2012 Games for Health conference and exhibition in Amsterdam. More than 600 attendees have gathered from across Europe to network, learn, and collaborate on ways that computer games can be used to help consumers and patients better manage their health. Some attendees come from well established video game companies. Others are students, scientists, researchers, physicians and other clinicians who have an interest in developing games that could be used in medical education, surgical training, physical medicine and rehabilitation, mental health, disease management, patient education and in so many other areas. I have been impressed by the diversity of interests represented at the conference.

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After my keynote I met with a small group of developers who pre-registered for something we’re calling the Microsoft Dev Camp. Over the next two days the developers will break into small teams, come up with ideas for new games, and actually write code for those games on new Windows 8 ultrabooks supplied by Intel using the Kinect for Windows SDK. To make things a bit more interesting, these teams are competing with dozens of other teams at the conference to develop the best new game for health. The winners will receive 200,000 Euros and the opportunity to bring their new game to market. Is it any wonder that more than 80 teams have signed up for the game developer contest at Games for Health? I can’t wait to see what these teams come up with. With 200,000 Euros at stake, I know the teams will be coming up with some great new ideas. 

Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft

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