Games, Tech Keep Young Cancer Patients Connected

Cigna, HopeLab, Childhood Leukemia Foundation team up to support kids with cancer.

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A young patient diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) enjoys using an iPad provided for free through the Childhood Leukemia Foundation (CLF) Keeping Kids Connected program.

'The Childhood Leukemia Foundation’s Keeping Kids Connected technology program and HopeLab’s research-based Re-Mission 2 games represent innovative new approaches to consumer engagement in healthcare.' - Scott Josephs, M.D., Cigna national medical officer.

Bloomfield, CT, Redwood City, CA and Brick, NJ (PRWEB) September 09, 2013

Cancer can be isolating and frightening, especially for kids. To support and empower young cancer patients, global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) has teamed up with the Childhood Leukemia Foundation (CLF) to provide free iPads preloaded with HopeLab’s cancer-fighting game app Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge to patients through CLF’s Keeping Kids Connected program.

Keeping Kids Connected allows young cancer patients to stay in touch with family, friends and school while actively receiving treatment. With funding support from Cigna and Cigna Foundation, CLF is distributing iPads, PCs and laptops that can be enjoyed by multiple patients for a variety of uses at hospitals in 24 states across the U.S. Each iPad comes preloaded with HopeLab’s Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge app, developed with support from Cigna and Cigna Foundation. The app is one of six Re-Mission 2 online games designed to help young cancer patients fight their disease. Research shows that playing the games boosts players’ positive emotions, increases self-efficacy (their belief in their ability to fight cancer) and shifts attitudes about chemotherapy, which lead to better adherence to prescribed treatments.

“Mobile technology and games can be powerful tools to support and empower patients,” said Scott Josephs, M.D., Cigna national medical officer. “The Childhood Leukemia Foundation’s Keeping Kids Connected technology program and HopeLab’s research-based Re-Mission 2 games represent innovative new approaches to consumer engagement in healthcare, and Cigna is proud to help young cancer patients access these programs.”

“Hospitals use technology provided through Keeping Kids Connected to help young cancer patients keep in touch with friends and family, keep up with their schoolwork and keep up their spirits as they fight their disease,” said Barbara Reid-Haramis, executive director of the Childhood Leukemia Foundation. “HopeLab’s Re-Mission 2 online games and mobile app are fantastic tools that not only entertain patients but also empower them as they go through treatment.”

Each Re-Mission 2 game puts players inside the body to defeat cancer, using weapons like chemotherapy, antibiotics and the body’s immune cells. The action parallels real-world medical treatments used to fight cancer. The games are designed specifically for teens and young adults who are at risk of adverse cancer outcomes due to poor treatment adherence. The new games apply insights from a brain-imaging study published in 2012 by HopeLab and Stanford University researchers showing that Re-Mission, a video game about killing cancer in the body, strongly activates brain circuits involved in positive motivation. This reward-related activation is associated with a shift in attitudes and emotions that helped boost players’ adherence to prescribed chemotherapy and antibiotic treatments in a previous study. As a result, each Re-Mission 2 game is designed to boost positive emotion, increase self-efficacy, and shift attitudes toward chemotherapy. More than 120 teens and young adults with cancer collaborated with HopeLab to develop and test the Re-Mission 2 games, which are now available free online at http://www.re-mission2.org.

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About Cigna
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York and their affiliates. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group disability, life, and accident coverage. Cigna has sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, with approximately 80 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit http://www.cigna.com.

About HopeLab
HopeLab is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by Board Chair Pam Omidyar. HopeLab harnesses the power and appeal of technology to improve human health and well-being. HopeLab applies a research-based, customer-focused, collaborative approach to create products that positively impact health behavior. HopeLab is part of the Omidyar Group of philanthropies. For more information, please visit http://www.hopelab.org.

About the Childhood Leukemia Foundation
The Childhood Leukemia Foundation is a national non-profit organization that provides a myriad of services – totally free of charge – to children battling cancer and their families. We work closely with social workers, care providers, families and loved ones to also provide meaningful information, dispensed in a practical manner befitting their challenging lifestyles. Our goal is to help children and families living with cancer by assisting them in managing their care and improving the quality of their lives. The Childhood Leukemia Foundation seeks to simplify otherwise taxing responsibilities using programs that are designed to educate and entertain while undergoing treatment. To learn more, visit http://www.clf4kids.org.