Barron Associates receives NIH Phase II Award to develop EMPATHIE Video Game for Middle School Students

Barron Associates is developing EMPATHIE, an educational game that provides an immersive experience into life with a motor disability and promotes design thinking and problem-solving related to the associated mobility challenges. The system leverages technology developed previously by Barron Associates, namely its novel video game interface, which implements a wireless electromyography (EMG) sensor as a control system for the game. Importantly, these lesson modules are presented to the student in the form of immersive media to promote a positive experience for students from a range of abilities and backgrounds; the ultimate goal is to increase diversity in the healthcare fields. Pilot testing of the prototype with 48 middle school students demonstrated statistically significant increases in learning after students completed the game session. Additionally, students reported positive usability ratings of the game and EMG sensors. The Phase II project will expand the game software and perform testing with a wide range of student groups.