Noah Falstein and Dasy Mandel during their GDC “Health in Games” masterclass in person

Curious to learn more about the rapid overlap of games, health, and neuroscience? Noah Falstein and Dasy Mandel say more about this “powerful partnership”, which they cover in their next GDC Master Class in London in June.

Dasy Mandel (Investment Principal, Sanara Capital & Founder, Games for Health Israel) and Noah Falstein (Game Developer & Executive Advisor at Akili Interactive) spoke with GDC about their one-day GDC Masterclass, Design, develop and finance health games and digital therapiesheld at the AI ​​Summit during London Tech Week on Thursday, June 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. BST.

This interactive workshop showcases the myriad of ways gaming mechanics, techniques, and technologies can be used to increase engagement and adherence, promote patient-centered care, and be applied across a wide range of healthcare verticals. , from digital therapy and diagnosis to education. , awareness and training.

The course is perfect for game developers (especially designers and producers/project managers), healthcare industry professionals, clinicians and therapists, and pharmaceutical executives and investors interested in a deeper dive into this growing field.

Below is an edited and condensed version of our interview.

GDC: Tell us a bit about your course and what attendees can expect to get out of the in-person Masterclass.

Noah Falstein: We will be gathering a lot of information and interactive content in one day. We’ll dive into the creative, production, marketing, and financial challenges of this field, and share techniques and solutions to these challenges that have worked with many gaming/healthcare industry success stories. We’ll walk attendees through whether or not to seek regulatory approval, how to find innovative solutions, how to get funding, and more.

The in-person format will address everyone’s issues as well as helpful instructions for everyone.

GDC: What are the most exciting developments you’ve seen in gaming and healthcare over the past two years, particularly in the areas of virtual reality and augmented reality?

Noah: The pandemic has, of necessity, dramatically accelerated the acceptance of digitally delivered healthcare of all kinds and driven large investments in telehealth generally and in gaming-centric or gaming-powered applications in particular. It also helped fuel the growth of the VR headset market as people searched for home entertainment, including exercise solutions like Supernatural and beat the saber.

VR-centric gaming/health companies like AppliedVR and non-VR companies like Akili Interactive and Level Ex (to name a few) have benefited from FDA clearances, significant investment or purchases. Akili is expected to go public this year with a $1 billion valuation based on his doctor-prescribed game.

But beyond the success stories, it’s fascinating to see how diverse this sector has become, with games being used to train doctors and therapists and diagnose diseases and disorders. There are also digital therapies focused on ADD/ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, pain alleviation, dementia, trauma, depression, and even myopia!

GDC: What can medical/healthcare professionals learn from the game development field, and vice versa?

Noah: It’s a very powerful partnership. Games can provide the key elements of engagement and buy-in that medical treatments often require, while healthcare professionals can provide the expertise and experience needed to create life-changing apps and conduct trials. to check their effectiveness.

It seems that nowadays no one graduates from medical school without spending many hours playing video games for relaxation, and the medical industry is always reaching out to use the latest technology for its own purposes. . Big pharma also knows how to work within the confines of regulatory bodies and government policies to spend the time and money needed to achieve success, on a scale similar to or greater than AAA game development.

GDC: What’s one interesting thing you like or do that most people might not know about you?

Noah: I’ve been a science enthusiast all my life, and my work in games has led me to partnerships with NASA, the Federation of American Scientists, and the National Science Foundation, but working with doctors and medical researchers s has proven to be even more rewarding as it allows me to create games that improve people’s health and sometimes even save lives!

Dassy Mandel: Intrigued by how our thought patterns determine our emotions and behaviors, I have studied different cognitive-behavioral modalities over the years. I am a Certified NLP Practitioner, a qualified Focusing Trainer and am currently completing my internship as a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. I enjoy spending a day a week in my digital clinic working with tech and healthcare entrepreneurs and executives, using these techniques to manifest desired change and growth. Now, by integrating these tools and techniques into digital health products and games, I look forward to seeing a wider impact created.

Be sure to head to GDC Master Class for more information on Dasy and Noah’s Design, develop and finance health games and digital therapies course, which takes place June 16. This course takes place in person at the London Tech Week AI Summit, which takes place at Tobacco Dock.

GDC returns to San Francisco in March 2023 and the call for applications opens this summer! For more information, do not hesitate to visit our website.

Subscribe to GDC newsletter and get regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInor RSS.