Other hospitals have completely banned the app, citing safety violations, infringements on privacy, and trespassing, threatening to fire staff caught playing and demanding that patients stop “trying to catch them all.” But C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan has recognized the potential in the popular app and are actively encouraging everyone to get involved.
The digital media manager and certified child specialist, J.J. Bouchard, at the hospital said that the app is “a fun way to encourage patients to be mobile. This app is getting patients out of beds and moving around.” Young patients meet their physical goals because they are excited to get up out of bed, shuffle down the hallways, and chat with each other at the “hot spots.”
Using your phone’s GPS, PokemonGo creates an alternate world in which Pokemon, little creatures that have fun abilities, can be collected and battle each other for control of “gyms,” or interesting landmarks. For children suffering from long-term illnesses, it gets them up and active when they would otherwise not have the motivation to go out of their rooms.
One child, an 11-year-old with an inoperable brain tumor, was finally excited to leave his room and meet the other children and staff that work in the hospital.
The hospital hasn’t had any issues with people playing on their campus and have marked off areas that are off-limits with clear signs that direct them to the other areas in the hospital where they are welcome. They also state that you aren’t allowed to take pictures of anyone that isn’t your family in order to follow health and safety rules.