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Animated software helps patients understand problems

EDMONTON – Ibera Canada has launched an innovative health education tool that will help physicians, nurses and educators engage their patients to become more active in managing their own health. Developed in Australia, the system makes use of animations to help patients understand their medical conditions and to become active participants in their own care.

Ibera is an innovative teaching tool that visually depicts how external forces affect the body. The software contains 70 animations that demonstrate 16 different general health areas, helping patients see and understand the effects lifestyle behaviours have on their bodies. Each component is approximately 90 seconds in length.

Ibera was first introduced by the Aboriginal Health Service in the Northern Territory, Australia. Health workers there were frustrated by the lack of educational health material available to help their clients to better understand their own health, medical conditions, and the impact lifestyle choices can have on the body.

The key benefits of the software are that it gives patients the information they need to ask more informed questions and encourages them to take a more preventive approach to their own wellness.

Allen Benson, the CEO of Native Counselling Services of Alberta, has been instrumental in bringing Ibera to Canada. Ibera’s messages, designed to be easily understandable for a wide range of potential users, has the potential to breathe new life into avoidable conditions experienced by many Canadians such as diabetes and some cancers.

“IBERA is not only an educational tool, it is also an excellent source of information to help patients better understand their condition,” says Benson.

The program was launched in Australia last spring and has met with considerable success. Originally designed with content geared to Australia’s aboriginal communities, minor changes have been made to make it more applicable to North Americans.

Physicians will often draw diagrams to explain the working of the body to their patients. But with 20 to 30 patients a day, this can become a difficult task. With Ibera, a physician, nurse or educator can demonstrate a medical problem on a desktop or laptop computer using animations – instead of just hearing about problem, the patient can actually see what is wrong. The result: a much better understanding of the medical condition and what to do about it.“

For further information, contact: Felicia Dewar, Sales & Marketing Manager, IBERA Canada, 780.447.9343.

Posted January 13, 2011