What better way to identify dementia than to have a huge audience around the world play a game? That is exactly what scientists are aiming to do with the help of a game called Sea Hero Quest. This new game has been launched recently and is available on smartphones worldwide. In the game, players set sail as they begin searching for precious artifacts which are in the form of memories. These artifacts can be collected at different locations around the world.
As players progress in the game, scientists on the background get access to huge amounts of data which is generated by the players. This data helps the scientist gain an insight into spatial navigation abilities which is known to be one of the first skills that a person suffering from dementia loses.
The data will be useful when thousands of players from all over the world will play the game because that will help the scientists create a standard for the normal range of navigation skills among people in general. Scientists will then be able to create further guidelines which will help them spot dementia.
Dementia is often caused by health conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and the symptoms can include memory loss, difficulty in thinking, reduced problem-solving abilities and problems in navigation.
The scientists are looking for data from at least 100,000 people by the end of 2016. The data created by these players will help the scientists understand how navigation skills work in people on an average. This will then render further insight into how people with dementia are unable to navigate.
All the data that will be gathered through the game will be secure and will be made available to researchers at UCL only. Once the scientists are able to get the data and analyze it to help them understand dementia more clearly, they will be able to use the game to identify users who are suffering from dementia. This will help the medical world, stop dementia at an early stage with the help of necessary drugs.