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How Body Sensors Are Gaming the Health System

Biomedicine and wireless technology are converging to create a booming remote-health-monitoring market — expected to more than double to $7.7 billion a year by 2012 — to combat obesity, heart disease, and other illnesses.

How Body Sensors Are Gaming the Health System

Marientina Gotsis

Media Lab Manager

USC School of Cinematic Arts

Los Angeles, California

Gaming the System

Marientina Gotsis, 31, teaches “Games for Health” at USC, and with a grant from Health Games Research, she and her partner, Maryalice Jordan-Marsh, designed a social online game called Wellness Partners, which awards virtual “energy points” for real-world physical activity.

“It doesn’t make sense that your Wii Fit data shouldn’t be consolidated into the same system that, let’s say, your doctor uses for tracking your health. Narrative and stories are what sustain our interest. We want to be inspired and entertained. Right now, there are practically no interesting applications out there that let you use your personal sensor data or health records to have a fun gaming experience. That’s going to change. Once you’ve figured out how to consolidate and share sensor data, you open the door to competition, which brings us to the possibility of entertainment.”