Xconomy Report: When Health's a Game

By Gregory T. Huang, Editor, Xconomy Boston

June 22, 2012

wii sports

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Can playing video games make you healthier? That’s the idea behind the “gamification” of health care, a big trend we’re seeing in the Boston tech scene and beyond. Companies and apps are using techniques from the gaming world to help people improve their health and fitness. For example, GymPact uses cash to motivate people to exercise. Healthrageous helps companies provide personalized fitness advice. And MeYou Health uses social-gaming rewards to help employers promote healthy behaviors. If all else fails, of course, you can try eating right and working out more.
Speaking of health care, the Biotechnology Industry Organization reports that the number of life sciences jobs in Massachusetts rose 3.4 percent from 2007 to 2010, even as national employment in the industry fell by 1.4 percent during the recession.
Our deal of the week is a $30 million funding round for Rethink Robotics, formerly known as Heartland Robotics. The Boston startup has raised more than $60 million to develop a new type of robot for manufacturing.
And finally, a N.H. company called Juliet Marine Systems claims to have built the world’s fastest underwater vehicle. The ship uses “supercavitation” — a big bubble around its hull — to reduce friction and glide through the waves. Sounds like a pretty good way to beat the heat this week.



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