AWS Public Sector Blog

Solving a Patient Need: GameChanger Charity Brings VR and AR to Hospitals

Established in 2007, GameChanger Charity has become a world leader in providing virtual reality and augmented reality experiences to hospital patients. These VR and AR experiences allow patients to escape the stark white walls that surround them in the hospital while simultaneously providing a sense of community and excitement.

The often isolating and terrifying patient experience is a memory that the Carol Family, who created GameChanger Charity, has carried with them over the past 11 years. Taylor Carol spent five years in hospitals – out of school, unable to join activities like sports clubs and music lessons and physically isolated from even touching family and friends for long periods of time. Hear from Taylor about how this experience inspired innovation in his keynote video from the AWS Public Sector Summit in Washington, D.C.

GameChanger has developed several business units that generate revenue for the charity’s distinct patient-focused programs, which allows the nonprofit to focus less on fundraising and more on impacting patients’ lives. One of those revenue-generating endeavors is Playwell, an innovative content distribution platform designed to improve the patient experience. Both the Playwell and GameChanger teams are reimagining the ways in which the for-profit and nonprofit sectors can harness technology to change patients’ lives.

A Cloud-based Patient Experience

Through the use of AWS, Playwell creates a safe space for patients and families, enabling a “walled-garden experience.” Inside this safe environment, Playwell offers opportunities for entertainment, play, learning, and socializing, fostering a sense of community and togetherness through meaningful interactions. Patients and their families can watch informative content about their conditions or procedures, interact with other hospital patients, develop new skills and passions, and mentally escape their health condition through entertaining and engaging content.

By leveraging over-the-top media distribution technology, there’s also no need for patients or hospitals to purchase a new device. Playwell content can be accessed through Apple and Microsoft Windows-based computers, iOS and Android tablets, or smartphones.

The Technology Behind Playwell

Playwell utilizes a bring-your-own-device model that reduces support and maintenance costs for hospitals and also allows Playwell content to be accessed anywhere in the hospital environment. After Playwell has been installed within a facility, anyone within the hospital can consume content through their preferred device without worrying about wires or restrictive hardware.

The Playwell platform uses a number of security best practices to protect both hospitals and their patients. Cloud-based and deployed server appliance technologies from AWS strike a balance across performance, edge network resources, on-premises footprint, and overhead management for hospitals.

The Future of Playwell

While Playwell is continuing to expand in hospitals across the United States, they remain focused on their mission of helping one patient at a time. No one says it better than Brittany, a patient at Children’s Hospital Colorado, “Playwell is the best thing that has happened for me during my hospital stay.”

Join the Mission

Visit to learn more about Playwell and to get involved in the charity.

Listen to the Podcast

Meet Taylor Carol, Chief Evangelist of Playwell and Co-founder of GameChanger. Hear how he and his team use the transformative power of play, education, and socialization to combat isolation, pain, and fear in young patients confined to the four walls of their hospital rooms.