• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 33s

Virtual pet game manages asthma

By Ivanhoe Newswire 5:38 PM June 17, 2014
BOSTON –

Studies show the average length of time children spend playing video games is 13.2 hours per week. One company is putting that gaming time to good use creating fun, interactive games to help manage their health issues.

Nine-year-old Allison Wu is an avid gymnast, but sometimes her asthma can make her body feel off balance.

“Normally I start to cough a lot, and sometimes it bothers my throat, and when it, like, really bothers me, I start to wheeze,” Allison told Ivanhoe.

A new video game, called Wellapets, uses virtual pets to help kids with asthma understand and manage it.

“I am going to give my pet, um, the inhaler,” Allison said.

A lovable fire-breathing dragon becomes the child’s pet. The only way to help him blow fire is to properly manage his asthma.

“I learned about that, like, cockroaches and smoke are not good,” Allison said.

As a mom and pediatrician, this is one video game Allison’s mom, Ann Wu, wants her to play.

“She’s learning how to take ownership of her own illness and not needing me for everything,” Ann told Ivanhoe.

The game also teaches children about asthma triggers — like smog and reminds children how and when to use their medication properly.

“Taking your inhaler with the right technique. Taking your controller inhaler at the right time. Learning how to avoid triggers and learning how to recognize your own asthma symptoms and take action for those,” Alexander Ryu, Wellapets co-founder/CEO, told Ivanhoe.

Even those who don’t have asthma are enjoying the game and better understand what their siblings and friends go through.

It’s a free app and can be downloaded at Google Play and the Apple Store. Lifeguard Games, the developer of Wellapets, say they plan to roll out a host of games to help manage food allergies, diabetes and other health issues.

Latest Stories

  • DayBreak

    Doctor heals Alaskans with regenerative medicine

    by Daybreak Staff on Jun 29, 11:46

    An innovative treatment that could eventually improve stubborn injuries like tennis elbow and knee tendonitis is now being offered in Alaska. It’s called regenerative medicine. Dr. Matthew Peterson, medical director at Algone Interventional Pain Clinic, said regenerative medicine utilizes the patients own blood to help them heal. Peterson went on to say it processes the […]

  • News

    Turkish PM outlines bombers’ airport attack tactics

    by CBS/AP on Jun 29, 11:39

    Last Updated Jun 29, 2016 3:00 PM EDT Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday one of the attackers at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport blew himself up outside, giving the other two the opportunity to get inside the building. “When the terrorists couldn’t pass the regular security system, when they couldn’t pass the scanners, police and security controls, […]

  • Politics

    Gov. Walker caps this year’s PFD checks at $1,000

    by Liz Raines on Jun 29, 11:20

      Updated at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29 ANCHORAGE — In an unprecedented move, Gov. Bill Walker announced Wednesday morning he’s partially vetoing funding for the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend checks this fall – cutting them to $1,000 instead of an estimated $2,000 under current calculations. “The cuts we’re making are difficult, but we’re […]

  • Crime

    Woman who knew victim found in crash says she ‘knew something was wrong’

    by Daniella Rivera on Jun 29, 9:29

    The last time Geraldine Turner saw 30-year-old Jacqueline Goodwin was Sunday when Goodwin spent the night in her home, which used to be an assisted living center. “She would go and come and go and come and go,” Turner said. She said for 14 years, she was like a mother to Goodwin, who didn’t have a […]

  • DayBreak

    Eagle River shop sees sweet start to ‘Row by Row’ quilting project

    by Sierra Starks on Jun 29, 8:14

    The phrase “Home Sweet Home” is posted in numerous places inside the Twisted Sisters’ Quilty Pleasures shop — hanging from the knob of a display cabinet, visible on the bathroom wall and printed on a laminated sign in the part of the shop dedicated to the Row by Row Experience. Row by Row, a shop-hop […]

  • News

    Air, ground search continues for hiker missing near Nome

    by Associated Press on Jun 29, 8:05

    Emergency responders in Nome are intensifying the search for a missing hiker. Alaska State Troopers were notified Monday after 36-year-old Joseph Balderas failed to show up for work as a law clerk in the Nome court. Balderas’ vehicle was found along the Nome-Council Highway. He may have been running or hiking in the area. Aircraft […]

  • News

    Juneau grocery sales-tax exemption option shot down

    by Associated Press on Jun 29, 7:26

    Juneau assembly members have rejected a proposal that would have allowed voters to decide whether to remove a 5 percent sales tax on groceries. The Juneau Empire reports the Juneau Assembly on Monday rejected an ordinance that would have put the matter on the ballot this fall. If the ordinance had passed, voters would have decided […]

  • News

    Bear numbers in Kodiak improve after decline

    by Associated Press on Jun 29, 7:18

    A recently completed study shows that southwest Kodiak’s bear population is on the rise after seeing a significant drop in 2010. KMXT-FM reports the bears were studied through a partnership between the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and the University of Montana. Will Deacy and his colleagues studied several streams in southwest Kodiak over a four-year period […]