Sanofi Diabetes, a division of Sanofi-Aventis, has launched for iOS and Android phones in the United Kingdom. The game, called Mission T1D, is meant to be educational, to teach children as well as their parents, caregivers, and friends about Type 1 diabetes.
"Children with diabetes and their families face many challenges in their daily lives as they care for a very complex life-long condition," Dr. Sheridan Waldron, a specialist diabetes dietician, said in a statement. "It is essential that children, parents and carers have the knowledge and skills to manage diabetes but they also need their friends, teachers and other people in the school environment to understand and support them to care for their diabetes effectively. Sharing information and fostering a caring environment at school will help children with diabetes to feel normal, happy and ensure that they reach their full potential in a safe environment."
The game is set in a school. When players complete levels and get points, they unlock short practical messages about living with Type 1 diabetes, and longer, shareable educational videos. They can then take quizzes about the information in the educational material. The videos cover the following topics: "What is Type 1 diabetes?", "Everyday life with Type 1 Diabetes", "What is hypoglycemia and how to help", "What is hyperglycemia and how to help", and "How to have a healthy diet, with or without Type 1 diabetes".
The whole package, which can also runs on a PC, is designed to be used either by individuals or in a classroom setting.
"As a company, we have entered the diabetes gaming arena to improve health outcomes for children with Type 1 diabetes," Rebecca Reeve, head of professional relations at Sanofi Diabetes said in a statement. "We are committed to making a difference to the lives of children who are struggling with the challenge of managing diabetes, especially in an environment where they can easily be made to feel different. We hope that the teachers, parents and carers for whom this game was developed will make it their mission to make this game a success."
This is actually the second diabetes mobile game Sanofi has aimed at children. The company Vancouver, British Columbia-based Ayogo to develop Monster Manor, a game that rewards kids with Type 2 diabetes for checking their blood glucose regularly, using short minigames that add up to unlock features and characters. It automatically sends the results to the parents’ smartphone, and has a back-end built in where parents can give kids rewards directly through the game. Correction: A previous version of this article said Ayogo was based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Along with its partner AgaMatrix, Sanofi also introduced one of the first iPhone-connected medical devices to the market, its iBGStar glucose meter, which received FDA clearance in late 2011.