Sometimes a class comes along that just feels like it was made just for you. This class IS that class for me. As you may know, I am a biomedical engineer by trade, but I also have a strong interest in game and mobile development. I took some cool game design classes and have gone to a bunch of events hosted by USC’s Association for Computing Machinery where they bring in Windows Phone developers or host Android and iPhone workshops. I see programming for these platforms as a hobby.
This semester though, the Information Technology Department offered a special topics class called mobile apps for medicine, and it PERFECTLY blends my love of mobile apps, game design AND biomedical engineering!
I can’t talk too much about the specific companies we’re working with – but I can say that my professor was approached by real companies in the creation of this class, so the projects aren’t just academic/hypothetical.
Different groups are working on developing apps to interface with heart-rate, glucose, and dietary data, all with the intent of making health and disease management more fun, thereby encouraging people to actually take initiative in tracking their health.
My group decided that an RPG would be the perfect type of game to engage people on their health long term. Specifically, we are trying to help diabetes patients manage their diet, exercise, and glucose levels by making all of those important factors in the battle system. You can progress through dozens of towns with different types of monsters and new unlockable equipment, pets, and even facial features. As you can see from the screen caps, we’re at a pretty rough initial stage right now, but hopefully future semesters can pick up where we left off, and I will keep working on it in my spare time.
Overall, it has been super fun and a great introduction to coding in objective C and XCode for the iPhone.