A Michigan children’s hospital is using Pokemon Go as a tool to get sick patients out of their rooms and interacting with fellow patients and hospital staff.
the past, young patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., shuffled down the hallways without speaking to each other, but now it’s not uncommon to see them stop and talk near a Pokemon Go hotspot, according to J.J Bouchard, digital media manager, and certified child life specialist at the hospital.
“It’s a fun way to encourage patients to be mobile,” Bouchard said. “This app is getting patients out of beds and moving around.”
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that accesses a smartphone’s GPS and camera to allow players to explore their surroundings in search of more than 100 Pokemon creatures. Features within the game include “Pokestops” — where users collect items they can use — and gyms, which are larger landmarks that users battle to control.
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Jennifer Griggs said she and her 11-year-old son, Braylon, recently downloaded the app and began playing at Mott Children’s Hospital, where Braylon receives treatment for an inoperable brain tumor.
“We started just trying to get him out of the room to do something active because it gets a little depressing while you are in the hospital for a lengthy stay,” she said.
But while Mott Children’s Hospital hasn’t had any issues with people playing on campus, other hospitals have banned Pokémon Go.
Springfield, Mo., the two main health systems are asking members of the public to stop playing the game on their campuses — and one specifically requested employees on the job cease trying to “catch ’em all,” the Springfield News-Leader reported.
Bouchard said the hospital is aware that other facilities have had negative experiences with Pokemon Go, and people have wandered into areas where they shouldn’t, so hospital staff put signs in front of hot spots.
We have signs that say, ‘this is a Pokemon hotspot, take a picture, but don’t take a picture of someone who is not in your family,’” he said.
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