Cystic Fibrosis and Video Games? How a New Technology Combines the Two

Recently, in a new BBC documentary, a new innovative device was featured that offers a unique and engaging way for people with cystic fibrosis to handle one of the challenges of their everyday life.
The new project is called “Fizzyo.” This is an aspiring University project headed by Haiyan Zhang, a director at Microsoft Research. Microsoft Research has joined forces with University College London to create the “Fizzyo” project and hopefully bring the new device to the larger Cystic Fibrosis community.

The Challenge

People with cystic fibrosis (CF) are more likely to get infections because they have a buildup of mucus. They have to be careful to avoid being exposed to dangerous bacteria. One of the ways they attempt to prevent infection and loosen and reduce the buildup of mucus is through daily exercises called airway clearance. Fizzyo is a device that can help with this process.

What Fizzyo does

The Fizzyo project is designing a device that will allow children to play video games from their breathing exercises. They are trying to make a sensor that attaches to a physiotherapy device, enabling children’s breathing to control the game.

An early prototype of the device was featured on the television documentary and three other designs have been designed since that first premier. The device creates an electronic sensor that can fit onto many different airway clearance devices and it’s easy to clean.

It is kid-friendly, as its creators strive to encourage children to be motivated to do their breathing exercises every day.

However, there is also another goal of the device!

The data behind it

The device is a clever way to collect data and determine what airway clearance treatments are best for each person.

If all goes well, 100 devices will be made and a study will be conducted involving 100 children. The study will examine the children’s progress for up to six months doing their airway clearance practice without the device. Then children will use the devices to see how the gaming affects the airway clearance treatment.

To find out more about this project click here.

To learn more about cystic fibrosis, check out our partners CysticLife and Strawfie Challenge.

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