by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | March 18, 2019
Cardiologists looking to test their skills in the catheterization lab can now do so risk-free in the fun-filled video game environment of Cardio Ex.
Created by Level Ex, the medical gaming app is packed with over 35 levels of interventional challenges that are designed to improve the cognitive, spatial reasoning and decision-making skills of cardiologists.
"Interventional cardiologists operate under extremely high stakes, and are tasked with treating patients with life-threatening heart diseases on a daily basis," Level Ex told HCB News. "Cardiologists (and their patients) hope that there are advanced tools for doctors to hone their skills and refine their techniques, but, unfortunately, this is often done on live patients. Level Ex noticed that demand, and Cardio Ex provides a solution in the form of a video game designed specifically for cardiologists that provides them with an entertaining experience and pushes their decision-making skills to the limits by allowing them to practice rare and challenging cases all on their mobile device."
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The game is a risk-free alternative for training interventional cardiologists, many of whom refine techniques, train on new medical devices or encounter complications when operating for the first time on live patients.
Throughout its course, Cardio Ex transports users to a variety of environments, including reimagined fluoroscopy visualizations, that require them to approach complex scenarios from a new perspective; and cardiology-themed maze levels that challenge their spatial reasoning. Each equips clinicians with various tasks to perform, from drilling through calcified lesions to treating high-intensity perforations and dissections, as well as tools to use, such as non-compliant and semi-compliant balloons, DES and PTFE stents, aspiration catheters, and atherectomy drills.
Gameplay is further amplified by original music scores that notify physicians of successes or errors they have made, with real-time performance feedback on speed, skill and technique provided.
"In a time where physician burnout is skyrocketing north of 50 percent, Level Ex's specialty focused video games offer an exciting and fun way for physicians to enjoy their profession again. Video games like Cardio Ex have the opportunity to present scenarios that a doctor can run through and get real-time feedback," said Level Ex. "It's another way to absorb information that might otherwise seem dull. And the fact that training is delivered through mobile adds additional value, as it makes it accessible to anyone around the world with a phone or tablet."
Level Ex plans to expand Cardio Ex into general cardiology, electrophysiology and peripheral interventions later in 2019, and will provide updates throughout the year that include sponsored levels featuring products from its medical device and pharmaceutical partners.
Cardio Ex is available for free in the App Store and will soon be accessible on Google Play. Users can also receive, for free, AMA PRA Category 1 Credit continuing medical education (CME) credits by playing the game.