Konglomerate Abertay cystic fibrosis game

New student game helps children with cystic fibrosis do their breathing exercises

Konglomerate Games – a company made up of students from Abertay University in Dundee – has developed a new game, Archipelayo, to help children with cystic fibrosis do their breathing exercises.

The game, which is undergoing medical testing at Great Ormond Street Hospital, was developed after the company secured £10,000 from the Europe-wide Unloc Enterprise challenge sponsored by Verizon. It has been designed around the Fizzyo Sensor, a bluetooth sensor “which attaches to the physiotherapy devices which are used to enhance the airway clearance techniques which people with cystic fibrosis perform”.

As treatment can be lengthy and uncomfortable, sometimes lasting for up to an hour, Archipelayo uses this time to turn it into a series of mini-games. The game is fully customisable to the patient’s individual exercises and stage of treatment and measures patients’ “adherence to their treatment non-intrusively through analytics”, as well as being designed “to encourage the correct techniques to combat the disease’s progression”. 

“Around 150 children are participating in the clinical testing across the UK, primarily at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The early signs are quite positive,” said Jamie Bankhead, CEO of Konglomerate Games. “Our data tells us that the average usage time for a player is 20 minutes, and that is fantastic. 80% of the breaths they are taking are deemed to be good quality which is great news.

“This suggests that not only is the fun there, but the medical benefit is there too.”

“The response from the children has been excellent. We’ve had feedback that they are enjoyable, and that the games have made the exercises feel quicker,” added Emma Raymond, from the Physiotherapy Research Group at UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. “We’ve been told it’s helped them do their exercises in a more effective way, so we’re really pleased at how this has gone. We’re absolutely delighted at the collaboration with Abertay and Konglomerate Games. The games they delivered have been of the highest quality.”

The medical testing is scheduled to end in November 2020.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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