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You don't have to be big to be strong

Hospitals can be scary.

Sharp needles and huge machines can especially terrify kids.

Primacy and Tufts Medical Center set out to change that. With an octopus.

Meet Elbo, the virtual 8-legged sea creature who puts pediatric patients at ease during their hospital stay. Through gesture recognition via Microsoft Kinect, he gets them up and moving, affirming their strength and ability to fight.

Primacy brought him to life at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, where he’s part of the Toughlings gang. We know that inside those hospital walls, children are faced with tough days and difficult procedures. Before having their blood drawn or undergoing surgery, Elbo helps replace tears with smiles.

Primacy’s developers spent days standing in front of the camera repeating the same motions over and over, ensuring each gesture would be perfectly recognized when a child acted it out.

Using the Kinect camera, Elbo guides kids through a short series of stretches and leads them through simple exercises, reassuring them they’re capable of anything. His last instruction prompts them to show off their muscles in a flex, reminding them how strong they are.

It’s one last chance to reduce fear and give kids the confidence that they can do anything before they undergo a scary procedure or surgery. And it’s an opportunity when they come out of them to get the child up and moving again.

Developer testing virtual reality program

The Toughlings experience not only helps the child start to move again, it physically helps them get closer to going home. Characters that come to life in an interactive game helps with their healing and their emotional well-being.”

Andrea Colliton
Director of Childlife Services

Awards& Recognition

Adclub CT Award
Melissa Tait Melissa Tait

Melissa TaitSVP of Technology & Project Management / Managing Director

Melissa's our SVP of Technology and Project Management. She has over 15 years of experience in emerging technology, mobile and social development, custom applications, quality assurance and more. Melissa brings knowledge and insight to our internal teams and clients.