Traumatic brain injury video game gets ultimate test (patients)

MedCity News has partnered with BioCrossroads to provide coverage focused on Indiana’s next generation of growth and innovation in life sciences EmotEd, a therapeutic software business centered on rehabilitation for adults with traumatic brain injuries is recruiting patients next month. The study will evaluate the effectiveness of a scenario-based video game it has developed to […]


MedCity News has partnered with BioCrossroads to provide coverage focused on Indiana’s next generation of growth and innovation in life sciences

EmotEd, a therapeutic software business centered on rehabilitation for adults with traumatic brain injuries is recruiting patients next month. The study will evaluate the effectiveness of a scenario-based video game it has developed to support their rehabilitation for Alexithymia or emotional blindness. It hopes to release the results by the end of the year.

The technology is based on research by Dawn Neumann, an assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. The game is designed to help brain-injured adults in rehabilitation identify and understand when they are angry, upset, have anxiety or are depressed. The hope is that they will eventually learn to perceive those emotions in others as well. Alexithymia is present in about 10 percent of the typical population, and in 30 percent to 60 percent of patients with a brain injury, Neumann said.

One of the biggest problems facing brain-injured patients is the risk that their insurance coverage for rehabilitation costs ends without allowing them to reinforce the progress they have made. Neumann said she has seen people lose the skills they built in recovery because they lacked the funding to reinforce them. The long-term goal is for the video game to be available online so the skills learned in rehab can be reinforced.

Neumann is developing the game with Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University School of Informatics, and Indiana software design and developer business, DeveloperTown.