The SuperBetter Labs social game platform provides an affordable, digital platform for supportive social connections and gameful delivery of medical recommendations in the face of injuries or illnesses, such as mild traumatic brain injury. Applying principles of Positive Health, social connectedness, and gameful design, we guide a personalized experience of social support, optimistic meta-narrative, and evidence-based recommendations for patients. We imagine a world in which individuals can grow stronger - much stronger - even tapping into their heroic potential to become Super Better. In our platform, this transcendence is encouraged through game design that presents the hard work of rehabilitation within a unique gameful, social context. We believe that this platform is particulary promising for young individuals suffering with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), who have increased risk of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. Our social gaming platform shows promise to help these individuals remain personally connected and resilient in the face of persistent mTBI symptoms while reinforcing personalized medical recommendations for recovery as game play mechanics. In general, our technology has tremendous potential to bridge the gap between mHealth and gamification of medical practice while pioneering the application of positive health through social gaming. This application seeks to develop that potential to improve health care options for youth suffering from persistent symptoms post-brain injury. This project is innovative because we will provide the first evidence for the integration o social gaming within concussion care. This project is significant because it evaluates the feasibility of employing social gaming as a medical care aid.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is relevant to public health in that it evaluates the feasibility of using a novel popular media, social gaming, for delivery of medical guidance. This research of social gaming as innovative medical media has great potential for efficient translation to clinical practice, as a supplemental aid to optimize reimbursable therapies, as well as for rapid deployment in telemedicine. Our team is positioned to analyze the results of this research within the context of NIH model systems of care for traumatic brain injury. Thus, the proposed research is relevant to the NIH mission of reducing the burdens of illness and disability on individuals and society through innovative research strategies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-V (10))
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Michel, Mary E
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Superbetter Labs, Inc.
United States
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Worthen-Chaudhari, Lise; McGonigal, Jane; Logan, Kelsey et al. (2017) Reducing concussion symptoms among teenage youth: Evaluation of a mobile health app. Brain Inj 31:1279-1286