Level Ex puts skin in the game with new mobile app for dermatologists

Level Ex's latest educational mobile app, Top Derm, fuses fun and education in an app for dermatologists. (Level Ex)

Level Ex’s latest educational mobile app, the Top Derm game aimed at dermatologists, puts actual skin into a video game.

The engaging peer-reviewed video game is designed to keep doctors up to date on the latest dermatology advances and will offer continuing medical education credits. More than 140 dermatologists collaborated on the app with game industry designers, developers and artists.

All the images used in the game are photorealistic and were created using Level Ex's proprietary computer graphics.

“We have these expert dermatologists literally standing over an artist's shoulder while they tweak and perfect these imagesto the point that another dermatologist can't tell the difference between the image and a real photograph,” Level Ex Founder and CEO Sam Glassenberg said.

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Why go to all that trouble and not just use actual reference photos?

“There’s really a dearth of imagery in certain diseases, especially on certain regions of the body and on certain skin tones,” Glassenberg said.

To create the new dermatology game, Level Ex departed from the game techniques it used for other specialties. The psychology of dermatologists is different from gastroenterologists or cardiologists, who want as much detailed background on the patient as possible, Glassenberg said. Dermatologists instead mostly want "rapid-fire skin” to diagnose.

The app is free to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play and features different levels of play and games across a wide range of common and uncommon dermatological disorders and diseases. The app makes recommendations based on the player's interests and play, updating automatically as a doctor uses it.

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Both branded and unbranded content is designed to fit seamlessly into play. For instance, pharma sponsors can create subcategories within a game or provide extra content around clinical study data.

Level Ex estimates more than 750,000 medical professionals play its games, propelling its word-of-mouth media strategy. Gameplay images, GIFs and video footage on social media also drive awareness and interest. Level Ex plans to exhibit Top Derm at the American Academy of Dermatology Summer Meeting in August.

Top Derm is Level Ex’s fifth medical mobile game, adding dermatology to its portfolio of anesthesiology (Airway Ex), gastroenterology (Gastro Ex), pulmonology (Pulm Ex) and cardiology (Cardio Ex) games. Airway Ex, Pulm Ex and Cardio Ex all included COVID-19-related levels added during the pandemic.