• 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

  • News

    Anchorage has ‘AmbuBus’ ready for catastrophic disaster

    by Daniella Rivera on Sep 26, 21:00

    Anchorage has a project in the bus barn that could help you during the next mass emergency. The “AmbuBus,” or Medical Ambulance Bus, is an old People Mover bus the city converted to an ambulance that can transport patients by the dozen. “If there’s an earthquake, if there’s a lot of trauma in the community, the ambulance […]

  • News

    Troopers say K-9 death leaves agency with just 6 trained dogs

    by Lauren Maxwell on Sep 26, 20:46

    Alaska State Troopers said a K-9 that was shot and killed following a traffic stop early Sunday morning in Palmer is the first dog to die in the line of duty in the state. On Monday, troopers wore a black band over their badges in honor of the death. Troopers haven’t identified the dog or […]

  • News

    State worker accidently tweets about rape, Trump on DHSS account

    by Emily Carlson on Sep 26, 20:35

    We apologize, some recent tweets were inadvertently posted to our account by a DHSS staff member who was logged into the wrong account. — Alaska DHSS (@Alaska_DHSS) September 27, 2016   ANCHORAGE — The state Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is apologizing to Alaskans after one of their employees tweeted about rape and […]

  • Lifestyle

    9 out of 10 teens don’t get enough exercise

    by Amy Norton / Health Day / CBS on Sep 26, 20:17

    Over 90 percent of U.S. high school students don’t get enough exercise to stay fit and healthy, and the pattern persists after they graduate, a new study finds. The researchers followed students at 44 high schools for four years, and found that only 9 percent met current exercise recommendations throughout that time. For the most part, those […]

  • Lifestyle

    Riding a roller coaster may help pass kidney stones

    by Mary Brophy Marcus / CBS News on Sep 26, 18:58

    Hundreds of thousands of people head to the emergency room every year for painful kidney stones, but new research suggests some could find relief at Walt Disney World instead. After years of hearing patients mention that they passed a kidney stone while vacationing at amusement parks, Dr. David Wartinger, a professor emeritus at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, decided it was […]

  • News

    APD releases names of officers who fired guns during 42-hour standoff

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 26, 18:44

    The Anchorage Police Department has released the names of the six officers who fired their weapons during a standoff on Hillside that last more than 40 hours. The officers are Robert Wurst, Sgt. Steven Childers, Matthew Barth, Daniel Henegar, Jason Penman and Seth McMillan. “It was unknown during the time of the shooting whether any of the officers’ shots injured […]

  • Sports

    Marlins’ Jose Fernandez made sick woman’s wish come true day before he died

    by CBS News on Sep 26, 18:17

    The news of Maimi Marlins’ Jose Fernandez’s death hit one of his fans especially hard, because less than 24 hours earlier, she got to meet her favorite baseball player, CBS Miami reported. Cristina Llanes, 20, was on cloud nine Saturday afternoon after a big surprise — meeting Fernandez at Marlins Park. “We’re going to try to win […]

  • Lifestyle

    New trial over talc, cancer link: What you need to know

    by CBS/AP on Sep 26, 16:54

    Two lawsuits ended in jury verdicts worth $127 million. Two others were tossed out by a judge who said there wasn’t reliable evidence that the talc in Johnson & Johnson’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer. This week, yet another lawsuit is going to court, alleging that a California woman’s use of talcum powder over many years caused cancer. Her lawsuit […]