Cyber Expo

VR game developed to help fight dementia

Written by Anthony Strzalek
31/08/20167

Alzheimer’s Research UK has partnered with Deutsche Telekom to develop a virtual reality (VR) game, in which players can help scientists fight dementia.

Last year, 10.8 million people worldwide used virtual reality and it is forecast that by 2021, there will be over 16 million users in the UK.

Just two minutes spent playing Sea Hero Quest VR collects the equivalent of five hours of lab based research, according to Alzheimer’s’ Research UK.

The VR game presents scientists with the opportunity for cross validation of the data collected by the mobile game and scientists hope to build on the data set already collected by using the latest in virtual reality to gain greater insight into human spatial navigation behaviours.

Tim Parry, director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Dementia is already one of the greatest health challenges we face and is predicted to affect over 130 million people worldwide by 2050. Research holds real power for creating more accurate diagnostics and effective treatments that those living with dementia and their families really need.

“The reaction to Sea Hero Quest illustrates the public appetite to get involved in research and be part of ongoing efforts to tackle the condition. Deutsche Telekom’s ‘Sea Hero Quest’ project is just the kind of innovative cross sector partnership that we need to accelerate progress in this important area.”

Hans-Christian Schwingen, chief brand officer at Deutsche Teleko, added: “Building on the success of the mobile game Sea Hero Quest which collected the data of almost three million players, we are very proud to continue to push the boundaries of traditional medical research, working alongside our trusted partners and leveraging our expertise in this area.”

The game has been developed in a collaboration between Deutsche Telekom, University College London, the University of East Anglia and Alzheimer’s Research UK. The game itself was developed jointly with independent game designers, Glitchers.

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