New Groundbreaking Study Finds Medical Video Games Improve Decision Making in Highly Experienced Doctors

 Knowledge attained through medical video games is effectively retained and transferred to medical scenarios

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to a first-of-its-kind study, medical video games have been shown to increase the competence and clinical decision-making of busy, experienced physicians.

Substantial research has demonstrated video-game-based medical training’s effectiveness in the short-term. These studies primarily focused on medical professionals in the earliest stages of their career, such as medical students and residents, who are often the easiest to recruit. The prior studies showed improvement from baseline and primarily looked at low-level outcomes like satisfaction and impact. This new study was initiated by medical video game studio Level Ex in collaboration with CE Outcomes. It dug deeper to assess the improvement in clinical decision making among the hard-to-reach demographic of practicing physicians – with an average age of 45 and an average of 14 years in practice. Findings were consistent across doctors regardless of their length of time in practice, indicating game-based education is appealing and effective across a wide spectrum of ages.

In this latest study, doctors not only showed clinical improvement while playing the games, but also demonstrated improvement in clinical decision making long after gameplay. This supports the idea that when physicians can experience clinical challenges in a consequence-free setting, such as medical video games, they build confidence, expand their knowledge, and strengthen their skillset.

“Compared with traditional medical education forums such as webinars and lecture series, medical video games are more activating, enjoyable, and convenient,” said Dr. Eric Gantwerker, Vice President and Medical Director at Level Ex. “This important study expands on the vast data demonstrating that game-based learning increases knowledge attainment, transfer, and retention to show these findings also extend to practicing physicians, regardless of age or experience level. It also suggests that this knowledge can be applied to clinical scenarios to support better care for the next patient coming through the door.”

“The physicians in this study were busy practitioners who saw an average of 151 patients a week. Finding time to stay current on new skills and treatment methods with that caseload is challenging,” stated Dr. Peter Lio, practicing dermatologist, world-renowned expert on atopic dermatitis, and a lead physician advisor for Level Ex. “Medical video games offer a unique and fun way for busy physicians to improve their clinical reasoning, enabling them to advance their skills on their own time and without putting patient lives at risk.”

About the Study

For this study, physicians played Top Derm, a game created by Level Ex that recreates medically accurate skin disorders and diseases across a range of skin tones and body regions. The participating doctors played five game modules within Top Derm. These modules included focused challenges across a range of dermatologic images and case scenarios. The doctors’ knowledge attainment was studied during the games, but more importantly, doctors’ knowledge transfer and retention was analyzed weeks later when doctors were presented with new patient case scenarios that assessed the same knowledge in a completely different format than experienced in the game.

Overall, the doctors significantly improved their in-game scores and their practical knowledge. Across three of the modules that were focused on out of the ordinary skin disorders, hair and scalp disorders, and acne conditions:

  • 40% of doctors improved their score.
  • 88% of doctors either retained or improved their score in the study’s post-assessment.
  • In some game modules, doctors increased their practical knowledge by 12% in just 30 minutes of playing time.
  • The study also found that nearly 75% of the physician players preferred learning through medical video games over traditional continuing medical education (CME).

This study was conducted by third-party research firm CE Outcomes during the period of February to April 2022. The study recruited from a random sample of practicing dermatologists to participate in a pre-assessment, complete a set of educational gaming modules, and complete a follow-up assessment conducted at least two weeks following exposure to the educational games. A total of 59 US-practicing dermatologists completed all components of the study. These tended to be busy clinicians with an average weekly patient load of over 150 patients per week.

For more information on how medical video games enhance decision making for practicing physicians, visit our blog or read our whitepaper.

About Level Ex

Level Ex is the world’s leading medical video game studio. We bring together the best minds across healthcare and interactive entertainment to accelerate the adoption of new skills and treatments in medicine. Using the Neuroscience of Play, our mobile games, medical simulations and cloud-gaming platform engage hundreds of thousands of medical professionals and empower the top healthcare companies, societies, and organizations like NASA.


Abi Blanchard for Level Ex

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