New Video Game Uses FBI Technology to Train Doctors In Spotting Drug Abusers
What does your doctor have in common with the FBI? They both may be using similar tactics to read a person’s body language, including the ability to tell if they’re lying or not. Unfortunately, because so many individuals abuse opioid painkillers, doctors have to watch for cues in patients that might indicate they are not a good candidate for this class of highly addictive drug.
A new interactive video game takes doctors through common office scenarios so they can role play responses to demanding patients before confronted with these types of tough situations. The game was developed by researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
Designed with the same interrogation tactics employed by the FBI, doctors are trained to spot red flags such as nervous body language, poor eye contact, and a family history of drug abuse. The scenarios are especially aimed at family practitioners who don’t feel 100 percent comfortable confronting patients of this sort who may be trying to take advantage of the system.
The game is helpful because young med students don’t normally receive this sort of "real world" training, and sometimes it’s difficult to objectively assess a person’s level of pain. Having these conversations can present a double-edged sword for doctors who want to help their patients manage pain without aiding in the misappropriation of such drugs.
The game promises to be helpful for medical schools and healthcare providers in training their students and staff. The scenarios come from the research of Northwestern’s own Dr. Michael F. Fleming and provide answers to approximately 95 percent of actual conversations that physicians are likely to find themselves in at some point in their career.
Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that prescription meds are currently responsible for about three-fourths of all drug overdoses. It is hoped that the new video game will help prevent some of these occurrences.