There is a growing interest to utilize digital tools to improve the quality and availability of care. While remote patient monitoring enables continuous flow of data outside hospitals and proactive responses in emergency situations, telehealth facilitates on-demand access to healthcare professionals.
Another emerging digital tool that is being used to improve patient engagement is gamification. It aims to use challenges and instant rewards to improve patient motivation. By influencing the behaviour of patients, gamified applications help encourage healthy habits thereby leading to better disease management and improved health outcomes.
A growing number of companies and start-ups are offering digital health solutions and platforms to both providers and patients to choose from. Emboldened by their experience as customers in the online shopping, entertainment and consumer markets, patients are becoming more demanding in the healthcare industry as well. However, applications with gamification embedded in them are quickly creating a niche for themselves in the large and complex digital healthcare market. Digital health monitoring is a prime example of an area where gamification strategies can be readily applied. Wearable devices like Fitbit and Apple watches and apps like Strava allow users to not only track and analyze their fitness activities but motivate users and integrate a layer of satisfaction to fitness activities.
The pandemic has greatly affected the rate at which technology has been adopted by healthcare providers. The quarantines have led to a dramatic shift in people’s expectations and lifestyles and increased the demand for services like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring. Furthermore, increased penetration of smartphones and usage of wearables enable the use of gamified products; and linking fitness activities to social networks that drive better engagement through online competition have led to faster adoption of gamified applications.
Multiple players are leveraging gamification to improve participation, engagement, and motivation, consequently increasing patient well-being across the patient journey (preventative care, diagnosis, therapy, and palliative care).
Focusing on Preventive Care
StepSetGo: Application rewards users with cash rewards for walking. Other gamification features to drive engagement include tasks which are a list of activities that need to be completed by the user for extra coins which can be redeemed for cash.
Focusing on Therapy
Mango Health: Application sets up daily routines and recommending personalized healthy habits. Additional features include prescription reminders and incentives for medication schedule adherence in the form of points.
Focusing on Palliative Care
Nintendo: Applications on the Nintendo platform help improve brain health of senior citizens through engaging games which stimulate the brain.
Focusing on Overall Patient Journey
Ayogo: The application is designed to setup personal health plans and track behavioral habits through reminders and recording user behavior.
While the above benefits cases focus on the patient, gamification helps drive better outcomes for healthcare providers as well by allowing them to plan activities and gamified actions for patients. Typical benefits cases include:
While there are benefits to gamification for both providers and patients, embedding gamification within applications requires a clear strategy and understanding of pre-requisites for successful implementation.
Following are some of the pre-requisites to realize complete benefits of gamification:
Organizations that can support providers in building capabilities to realise pre-requisites outlined above would be able to drive value for their clients and help deliver truly personalized services to the patients.
About the Author –
A member of Solutions and Strategy team, Sanjhal works towards and is passionate about tailoring Industry-leading solutions to clients in AI/ML led Healthcare Technologies that enable customer success in the Digital era.
She has published several research papers in the field of Nanoscience and technology in esteemed journals.Back to blogs