Ex level, the maker of popular surgery games for healthcare professionals, has released new levels that virtually train doctors to treat patients with COVID-19. COVID-19 levels are available for free via the Airway Ex and Pulm Ex mobile games on Google Play, soon on other platforms.
CEO Sam Glassenberg said his Chicago-based company received support for an education grant provided by the Johnson & Johnson Institute. He said that more than 600,000 health professionals are currently playing the Level Ex Games (users list their profession when they register).
These new levels of play are designed to help pulmonologists, emergency physicians, anesthesiologists and other healthcare providers prepare for difficult COVID-19 patient scenarios and make better medical and emergency decisions. The levels distill and disseminate the latest actionable COVID-19 information into game content, complementing traditional educational tools, said Glassenberg.
He said the games allow players to apply concepts preventively through experiential and active learning. The new COVID-19 levels from Level Ex allow doctors to quickly access “need to know” information as they find themselves in new roles.
The COVID-19 levels of Level Ex are based on clinical guidelines, industry recommendations and the knowledge of physicians on the front line of the pandemic. The company has also scrutinized the research of medical societies and public health organizations: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) , the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), World Federation of Societies of Anesthesiologists (WFSA), Società Italiana di Anestesia Analgesia Rianimazione e Terapia Intensiva (SIAARTI), the Faculty of Medicine in Critical Care, the Society for Critical Care, the Association of Anesthesiologists, the Royal College of Anesthesiologists and others.
“Historically, we have focused on surgical procedures,” said Glassenberg. “We are using game mechanisms to meet the challenge of medical practice. It’s procedural stuff, physics puzzles, first-person shooter mechanics. If you think about a lot of challenges, even if doctors are clinically confronted, they may face deductive reasoning challenges to diagnose a difficult patient, or the strategy game of how to manage a difficult patient over time. time. “
The game lets the doctor know if the tests are expensive or time-consuming, or if fans are available. This helps the doctor to weigh decisions such as when to test someone. Glassenberg said, “When COVID-19 struck, there was a wave of requests from our doctors and other health professionals to get something to practice. We went to great lengths to find the game mechanics to meet the greatest need and started to build it. “
Challenges include misdiagnosis or multiple illnesses occurring at the same time. And appropriate tests may or may not be available. Every request you make or test that you make can eliminate some of the illnesses that can affect a patient.
He added, “One of the big challenges facing doctors is to diagnose difficult patients. We have developed this puzzle game mechanism that captures the diagnostic challenge as a puzzle game. Your patient presents you with a main complaint upon arrival at the clinic. And then you have about four turns, and each turn, you get three action points. You have to spend them properly, like asking questions and doing tests that may be more expensive or take longer. “
According to Glassenberg, the company has tested this game mechanism with hundreds of doctors. “We need it there because the patients are misdiagnosed, as we have seen in the news,” he said. Level Ex has consulted physicians in pulmonary, intensive care, cardiology, anesthesiology and emergency medicine who are actively treating high volumes of patients with COVID-19.
Level Ex has created game-based learning where players treat virtual patients in timed and scored scenarios. They get real-time feedback based on how their actions have met current guidelines. In Pulm Ex’s COVID-19 diagnostic unit, players ask questions and perform tests based on a virtual patient’s primary complaint, then attempt to determine a correct diagnosis of COVID-19 or a disease imitating.
Airway Ex’s COVID-19 Safe Airway Management Unit presents virtual airway (putting a tube in someone for a ventilator) scenario that forces players to make clinical decisions about compromised airways COVID-19 patients. With each choice, the game explains and reinforces best practices that minimize the risk of spreading the disease. Level Ex indicates that it will develop more levels regarding the treatment and management of COVID-19.
Level Ex has 85 employees. Glassenberg said that half of the country’s medical students have Level Ex games on their phones.