Pfizer, hemophilia society launch disease-awareness app game for boys in Qatar

By Dave Muoio
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Pfizer and the Friends of Haemophilia Society have launched an app game specifically designed to help boys aged four years and older learn about and manage their hemophilia. 

Released in Qatar, “HemoHeroes” tasks players with guiding their ‘hero’ through different everyday scenarios, such as exercising, cooking, and bathing. While each of these are designed to be a fun challenge, they also focus on the lifestyle considerations that come with hemophilia, specifically in regard to healthy eating, oral hygiene, household hazards, taking prophylactic medication, and other areas of disease management.

“It is often hard for children to grasp their reality and understand what Hemophilia is and how best to cope with it,” Dr. Ahmed Abdelbari, clinical pharmacist at Hamad General Hospital and representative of the Friends of Haemophilia Society, said in a statement. “Awareness information is often too technical and sometimes even scary for them. ‘HemoHeroes’ is a much welcome platform, and we are confident it will improve Hemophilia awareness and management for our young patients thanks to the game’s fun, positive, and engaging delivery.”

The game is intended to replace much of the rote education young boys would receive in the doctor’s office with a more enjoyable alternative, a representative of the companies told MobiHealthNews. As such, both the game’s characters and its activities were designed with these young patients in mind.

“The game is specifically designed to resonate with little ones, helping many young male patients and their families really understand the merit of a healthy lifestyle and the importance of treatment compliance,” Mohamed Fawzy, Gulf Cluster lead of Pfizer, said in a statement. “With this app, we continue to put patients at the forefront of everything we do, and supporting patients in understanding their condition; key aspect of our patient centric approach.”

“HemoHeroes” isn’t Pfizer’s first effort to bring hemophilia awareness to children. In August, the company launched a Minecraft mod designed to teach kids aged eight to 16 years about the condition. The HEMOCRAFT mod is free to those that already own Minecraft, and uses the video game’s engine to present a new world and adventure themed around hemophilia treatment and management.

"These new digital innovations can be integrated into everyday routines to help empower people with hemophilia to learn about and track different aspects relevant to their disease so that they can have informed conversations with their healthcare providers," Kevin Williams, chief medical officer of Pfizer Rare Disease, said at the time.

That same week, Pfizer also announced the HemMobile Striiv Wearable, which integrates with the company’s HemMobile app and offers an array of features to help patients track daily activity levels and monitor their heart rates.