Get Ready For The Gamification Of Healthcare

Whenever I bring up “gamification“, most people say “what?”.  But, gamification is gaining some steam based on a recent article from AIS that talked about United, Humana, Aetna, and Kaiser all looking at the topic.  (see Perficient white paper)

The idea is to improve patient engagement and outcomes by using games and the idea of competing, earning rewards, and solving challenges to improve health.  I think this is especially relevant with all the chronic diseases and obesity challenges in kids, but there are gamers of all ages.  Certainly, Wii and other technologies that respond to movement and integrate into social media help enable this.

Keas is certainly one company whose name I’ve heard a few times in this space for healthcare.  But, I think lots of people are talking about this and trying to figure it out.  A simple Google search pulls up lots of discussion on the topic.

With the upcoming Facebook IPO and their success working with Zynga on gaming, it makes me wonder if they’ll make any movement in this space.  They’ve generally stayed out of the healthcare space other than exercise and diet, but with their recent effort around organ donation, one could speculate about what they could do with all the money they’re raising.

Gabe Zichermann, the author of Game-Based Marketing, speaks of balancing the fun and frivolity of gamification with the task of making life easier for cancer patients. He says, “I don’t presume to think that we can make having cancer into a purely fun experience. But, we have data to show that when we give cancer patients gamified experiences to help them manage their drug prescriptions and manage chemotherapy, they improve their emotional state and also their adherence to their protocol.”

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