Highmark Interactive has raised $2 million as part of a seed-funding round. That influx of cash will go toward developing games aimed at treating brain injuries. Last month, Highmark acquired XMG Studio, a mobile game developer, and it plans on expanding its development team further. So far, it hasn’t revealed further details about what its exact methodologies will be or what kind of games it will make.
“We believe our video game technology will revolutionize patient management as it relates to the concussion epidemic and other traumatic brain injuries and diseases,” said Andy Smith, Highmark’s CEO.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.2 million emergency room visits in a year were because of traumatic brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries like concussions can lead to both short-term and long-term effects, including increased risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Other game studios are also approaching video games as a method of therapy. In 2015, Ubisoft teamed up with developer Amblyotech to address amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” with the game Dig Rush. Sea Hero Quest by developer Glitchers is a mobile game that gathers information on how people navigate spatially, which is useful for scientists to diagnose early onset dementia. Sea Hero Quest is also a finalist for Best Gameplay at this year’s Games for Change Festival, an annual event that highlights the intersection of games with other sectors such as neuroscience and education.