Sam Glassenberg is no doctor, but he was happy to perform a colonoscopy before a crowd of hundreds in Los Angeles this June.
"This polyp is attached to a blood vessel, so if you try to remove it, it bleeds," he explained. Blood gushed while the crowd winced and moaned.
No, Glassenberg was not operating on a real patient. He was at the Social Innovation Summit in Los Angeles, showcasing a colonoscopy "game" that his company, Level Ex, has developed to help train doctors.
"We capture the challenges of the practice of medicine — diagnosis, clinical challenges, procedural challenges — and we capture them as video game mechanics," Glassenberg told Mashable.
The colonoscopy is just one of dozens of procedural options within Level Ex's four distinct game apps — Airway Ex, Gastro Ex, Pulm Ex, and Cardio Ex — which each contain simulations of real-life operations. Simply by downloading an app onto an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet, doctors and students can practice their craft, playing hyper-realistic surgical video games that simulate procedures like intubation, endoscopies, and, most recently, heart surgery, says Glassenberg. Doctors can even earn Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, which ordinarily take the form of attending conferences, reading long manuals, or answering multiple-choice questions.
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Level Ex is a startup that makes realistic video games for doctors.