UnitedHealthcare and KONAMI Digital Entertainment, Inc., today announced at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a joint effort to reduce childhood obesity through KONAMI’s new DanceDanceRevolution (DDR) Classroom Edition, the latest iteration of the wildly popular dance game that has shown to encourage physical activity among adults and children.
DDR Classroom Edition is an interactive video game, also known as an “exergame,” that combines physical activity with energetic music and visuals. The game and associated hardware technology, which was developed by Performance Designed Products, enables up to 48 students to participate simultaneously, using wireless mat controllers that feature a smart card reader that tracks each student’s individual progress. While students move to the beat, teachers receive vital information about their students’ health including, steps, body mass index (BMI) and caloric burn rate.
KONAMI and UnitedHealthcare launched the game at three schools located in Longwood, Fla.; Gainesville, Ga.; and Fresno, Texas. The participating schools, with assistance from KONAMI and UnitedHealthcare, will use the game to track its impact on students’ health, well-being and exercise habits.
The program builds on UnitedHealthcare’s deep expertise in developing practical solutions to control childhood obesity, including collaborations with school systems nationwide. This latest collaboration will also be incorporated into ‘Activate for Kids,’ a school wellness initiative operated by UnitedHealthcare and United Health Foundation in partnership with school systems throughout Florida, Georgia and Texas.
DDR Classroom Edition also will be on display at UnitedHealthcare’s exhibitor booth (#25515) during CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 8-11. Conference attendees will be able to play DDR Classroom Edition, with instruction provided by certified personal trainers.
“DanceDanceRevolution introduced a generation of young people to an innovative and fun approach to physical activity,” said Clara Baum, senior director of strategic marketing and partnerships, KONAMI. “With the recent launch of our Classroom Edition and KONAMI’s collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, we see the healthy lifestyle benefits of expanding the active video games or ‘exergaming’ platform and making this fun, physical activity system available to as many people as possible.”
Studies indicate “exergaming,” which refers to video games such as DDR Classroom Edition that are also a form of exercise, have the potential to reduce the growing obesity epidemic among children and adults. Recognized by leading researchers, schools, and doctors as an innovative and fun solution to promoting a healthy lifestyle and fighting childhood obesity; DDR Classroom Edition launches with support from key partners, including the American Diabetes Association and Sony Music.
“The DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition teaches kids that physical activity can be fun and enjoyable, while fostering the development of healthy attitudes and habits that can last a lifetime,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group. “By developing innovative collaborations that engage young people in improving their health, we are taking an important step toward reducing childhood obesity in our country.”
In addition to showcasing DDR Classroom Edition, UnitedHealthcare’s 4,000-square-foot exhibitor booth at CES demonstrates how the health care company’s health benefits, services and technologies are helping to simplify the consumer health care experience by making helpful, practical information more accessible and affordable through personal technology devices such as smartphones, video game consoles and television programming.
CES attendees who visit the UnitedHealthcare booth  can interact with a wide range of innovative health tools, including:
- myHealthcare Cost Estimator – This online and mobile tool gives consumers the transparency they need to understand health care costs and quality for specific physicians and hospitals; enables them to compare costs and quality of alternative treatments; and provides personalized out-of-pocket cost estimates based on current benefits, applicable network discounts and health financing accounts.
- Health4Me – This powerful mobile app helps UnitedHealthcare plan participants on the go find in-network doctors, benefit information and claim status.
- Senior Digital Journey – By better understanding how individuals experience health care and insurance, UnitedHealthcare is gaining insights in how to enhance its service delivery to fit the behavior, needs and desires of its customers.
- UnitedHealthcare Community Rewards™ – This program rewards children with points for healthy habits such as visiting their doctors regularly for checkups or brushing their teeth. Then they are able to redeem the points for valuable rewards such as a camera or a bicycle.
Several UnitedHealthcare executives will also make presentations during CES. Dr. Tuckson, will speak alongside Dr. Deepak Chopra at this year’s Supersession “The Human Body: The Next Digital Revolution,” moderated by The Huffington Post President and Editor in Chief Arianna Huffington (Tuesday, Jan. 8, 9:30-10:30 a.m.). Dr. Tuckson will also provide a keynote speech during the Digital Health Summit at CES, focusing on the role technology plays in managing the health and well-being of millions of Americans (Wednesday, Jan. 8, 10:25-11:05 a.m.).
“The health care system is undergoing a substantial transformation, with technology and innovative collaborations such as the one with KONAMI playing crucial roles in that process,” said Dr. Tuckson. “Through the technologies and collaborations being showcased during CES, UnitedHealthcare is taking important steps to enhance the health system and empower people to take charge of their personal health like never before.”
DanceDanceRevolution is the definitive music and motion game that combines fun, fitness, competition, dance and music. Since it was first introduced to North American video game consoles in 2001, DanceDanceRevolution has received a tremendous amount of exposure for its health benefits. A major part of the new trend in gaming that takes players off of the couch and away from the joystick; DanceDanceRevolution has recently been introduced as part of the physical fitness curriculum in multiple school districts in the United States. Additionally, it has been a part of numerous research studies on childhood obesity.
For more information, please visit: www.konami.com/ddr
About KONAMI Group
KONAMI Digital Entertainment, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and manufacturer of electronic entertainment properties. Konami's titles include the popular franchises Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, DanceDanceRevolution and Castlevania, among other top sellers. The latest information about KONAMI can be found on the Web at www.konami.com. KONAMI CORPORATION is a publicly traded company based in Tokyo, Japan with subsidiary offices, KONAMI Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan, KONAMI Digital Entertainment, Inc., in the United States and KONAMI Digital Entertainment GmbH in Frankfurt, Germany. KONAMI CORPORATION is traded in the United States on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol KNM. Details of the products published by KONAMI can be found at http://www.konami.com.
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UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.