PERCEPTUAL ROBOTS MAY HELP TO SAVE LIVES: HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PISA AND BOLOGNA SHOWING HOW THE PERCRO LABORATORY VIDEOGAME MIGHT HELP PEOPLE IMPROVE THEIR SKILLS IN CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION

Can a video game teach high school students how to resuscitate by applying video game-based techniques? The European Resuscitation Council, which includes the Italian Resuscitation Council (IRC), has developed innovative resuscitation training programs for hospital providers, EMS personnel, healthcare workers and non-specialist personnel. The Italian Resuscitation Council (IRC) is also involved in researching the benefits of game-based learning in schools through “Relive”, a scenario-based gaming platform, developed at the Sant’Anna TeCIP Institute (Communication, Information and Perception Technologies) Laboratory of Perceptual Robotics.

The educational serious game Relive was designed in 2014 by IRC, the Sant’Anna Laboratory of Perceptual Robotics and Studio Evil, a software house in Bologna. In the Relive game the player assumes the role of a healthcare worker performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation using virtual world technology; 65 students of Bologna and Pisa (istituto secondario superiore Belluzzi and liceo scientifico Buonarroti) were engaged in virtual-world scenarios to learn how to treat victims suffering cardiac arrest and to perform optimal chest compression. The “Relive” game was carried out in 3 phases over an 8-month period. An environment was created with an initial “Baseline”; participants (students with no specific CPR training) were asked to perform 2 minutes of continuous chest compression. In the “Competition” phase, participants performed the 2-minutes Relive-guided CPR and in the “Retention” phase they were asked to perform the 2-minutes resuscitation without any assistance.

The study was conducted by Antonio Frisoli, professor of Applied Mechanics at Sant’Anna School. The results of the study were published in the journal “Resuscitation”, "Resuscitation" is the official journal of the European Resuscitation Council, published by Elsevier Science.

In the three months after the instructional process, students remember how to perform the chest compression and other CPR steps. 73% of students improved their skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation; students' knowledge assessment revealed their scores increased from 46% in baseline phase to 62% in information retention phase.

The study shows that the digital games technology can be used effectively for educational purposes in schools. Relive represents an active learning approach, a science fiction adventure game where the player goes to Mars and faces challenges in managing resuscitation in emergency units. Players, properly trained in CPR, should intervene to save their colleagues lives.

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