I've spent a lot of time in hospitals over the years and one thing for which I've always been grateful (besides pain medication) has been the presence of a video game console at my bedside. Initially only available in the pediatric ward, consoles are finally starting to pop up on floors with adult patients. A new custom Microsoft Xbox 360 console is in the works that's just for hospital patients that offers medical information in addition to gaming, and frankly it's about time someone stepped up to fill this need. GamePolitics has the story.
Enter the Cerner Care Console, basically a bedside Xbox 360 that allows patients to communicate with their physicians, check their treatment schedule, and yes, even watch movies and play games to pass the time. Demo’d at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the project is a collaboration between Cerner, Spectrum Health, and Microsoft, and is aimed at improving the hospital experience by letting patients take a more active role in their care.
I can't say enough positive things about having games available in the hospital. As a seriously ill kid I used to put in some major time with the local hospital's Super NES between visits from the doctor or nurses. I spent most of a stay in 1994 with Star Fox, Taz-Mania, and The Legend of the Mystical Ninja. As an adult I've had to bring in my own portable gaming systems during a hospital stay which, while nice, just isn't the same as the full-fledged console experience. I'd like to see this Xbox pilot program succeed, although I can't help but think that the term "red ring of death" takes on a whole new meaning in a medical setting.