Founded in 2004, the Games for Health Project supports the development of cutting-edge games and game technologies to improve health and health care.
The features of computer and video games—advanced graphics, stunning realism, immersive interactivity, structured challenges—offer unique solutions to a variety of health and health care issues. Whether it's teens managing a chronic disease, stroke victims in physical rehabilitation, individuals looking to be more active and manage their weight, public health officials planning for potential disease outbreaks, or nurses and doctors seeking to hone their skills, game-based solutions challenge, motivate, and engage users in a way that no other medium can.
Through the Pioneer Portfolio, RWJF has been a leader in the field of health games, investing approximately $9 million since 2004. The Games for Health Project helps forge new connections between the worlds of games and health. Beginning in 2005, Games for Health has held annual national and regional conferences that bring together game designers and developers, researchers, medical professionals, educators, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and others to share information about the impact games and game technologies can have on health and health care.
The project's annual Games for Health Conference is the leading meeting in its field. Over the course of three days, more than 400 attendees—including researchers, medical professionals, and game developers from Nintendo, TEDMED, the American Heart Association, and Lucasfilm—participate in more than 60 sessions featuring an international array of speakers. Topics include exergaming, physical therapy, disease management, health behavior change, biofeedback, rehabilitation, epidemiology, training, cognitive health, nutrition, and health education.