Pokémon Go Divides the Healthcare Industry

Unless you have zero interaction with digital technology, which is unlikely since you are reading this blog post, you’ve most likely heard about the latest Pokémon Go craze. The new GPS-based augmented reality game is drawing more attention from consumers and the media than even the upcoming Olympic games or presidential election.

Pokémon is an insanely popular franchise that began in Japan and quickly gained popularity in the US in the 1990s. There was a TV show, trading cards, and video games. And now, with this latest app, people are reconnecting with a bit of nostalgia.

How do you Play?

Here’s the long and short of it: the app uses the GPS and camera on your phone to track your real-world locations and augment reality so you can see the little monsters in your world. You might see one in your fridge or sitting next to you on the bus.

The goal of the game is to find ALL of these monsters, capture them and train them so they can eventually do battle with other players’ monsters.

But what does any of this have to do with healthcare? Well, there are those in the healthcare industry who are praising the game for its health benefits, while still others are warning of the dangers.

What, if any, are the possible health benefits of the game?

According to Matt Hoffman, DNP and clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Nursing, the game is great for public health. “Playing the game is a lot of fun, and it has been a catalyst to get people moving,” said Hoffman who has been affectionately dubbed the “Pokémon Professor” by co-workers.

There is something to be said for a new kind of video game that takes people off of their couch and gets them walking outside. But just how does the game get people moving? Read more

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