By Christine Kern, contributing writer
New VR technology helps track blood pressure and BMI and revolutionizes health screenings.
Virtual and augmented reality is already revolutionizing the way we learn, work, and play. Now the technology is changing the way we manage our personal health and wellness.
Cigna and Microsoft HoloLens have joined together to gamify personal health using the latest Microsoft technology. “The evolution of personal health and technology is something that has tremendous impact on everyone,” says Stephen Cassell, Cigna’s chief brand officer.
Research shows four key factors — blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), blood sugar, and cholesterol — are responsible for the majority of preventable chronic disease and health care costs. To that end, Cigna has developed BioBall, an interactive game that features a light bowling-size ball to allow players to get their important health numbers in real-time, within the HoloLens technology glasses. The features in BioBall let players unlock two of their vital four health numbers — blood pressure and BMI — at the end of play.
“Cigna’s goal is to help people learn their four health numbers, and we’re doing all we can to make this process easy, quick, and painless,” Cassell explains. “We want people to know about their health risks, and we believe BioBall and its interactivity get people excited about learning their numbers.”
BioBall will be available at Cigna-sponsored public events throughout the country, and a portable, pop-up version of BioBall is rolling out for use at Cigna’s client locations for those employers who request BioBall for their onsite clinics or other employee events.
How BioBall Works: Players hold a wireless ball in a one-minute race to capture all the images that flash on the screen before them. The BioBall senses a player’s pulse, which determines the ball’s movement, and uses responsive lighting to connect the game experience with the player’s heartbeat. Once players finish the game they receive their numbers privately on their headsets as well as health tips and suggestions via email.