Gamification of healthcare

Gamification and How It Can Enrich Healthcare

It is a known fact that companies have begun using elements associated with gaming to achieve their targets for a while now. This process is what is known as gamification. It is the process of applying gaming mechanics, design techniques, etc to non-gaming applications to make them more appealing and engaging for the audience. These applications which otherwise might not have been as entertaining can be transformed into fun through the process of gamification.

Why is it used in the healthcare industry?

Who does not love entertainment? Traditionally if a patient faced any issues, they would simply visit a doctor, get treatment, and move on. But what if this experience could not only be made virtual but turned into something that both, children, and adults enjoy? The usage of gamification has increased significantly and is being applied to several industries, some of which are digital health.

The point of using this is to create an engaging experience for your users by converting them into players. Studies too have shown that using gamification can great positive effects on a patient’s health by creating adherence towards treatment. It helps create motivation and hope towards fighting disease and suddenly, the issue at hand seems a little easier to handle. It is overwhelming enough for a patient to go through the process of healing in serious cases. If the factor of anxiety can be reduced or cut out, it not only helps the patient stay calmer, but will also help accelerate healing which otherwise gets hindered due to negative emotions.

By understanding how gamification applies to healthcare, gaming principles can be applied selectively towards planning how to care, coordinate and deliver the best of service to patients which will eventually lead to better outcomes.

In what ways can gamification be used for patients?

There are several ways of using gamification to help make your patient feel accomplished and motivated towards achieving their goals.

Create progress stories and levels

Every game has a story or level that gets completed when you complete a set of tasks. This builds curiosity and motivation towards wanting to do more to unlock more paths or rewards. The same logic is used towards patients which then awakens psychological biases with relation to progress or a sense of achievement. For example, could be if a patient is looking for a mental health program, they would need to do a set of self-help tasks which then helps unlock more experiences and tasks.

Social connect

Keeping a social connect option on, ensures that your patient does not feel alone through their journey. It is a great way of showing how so many people like them are in the same boat. Through unity and encouragement, the patient can feel even more encouraged to not just help themselves, but help others going through the same issues.

Virtual incentives

Just like how all of us appreciate awards, trophies, or recognition after we put in so much hard work, using incentives like a badge, trophy, or achievement milestones helps otherwise low or uninterested patients feel accomplished and therefore wanting to do more.

Sharing

Creating a ready-made post drafted well of their achievements, trophies, or other accomplished tasks and asking patients to share it with friends and family is yet again a major booster of confidence. By sharing this with their loved ones, they will get an additional nudge of compliments and perhaps might even inspire others to join in their journey.

Future growth and potential

As per a report by Stallion market research, the global gamification market was valued at around USD 10 billion in 2020. It is now expected to reach USD 32 million by the year 2025 and grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 28% over the forecast period (2021 – 2025).

As per the latest evidence, the fact that gamification can have a positive impact on health and general wellbeing is being supported. With the involvement of gamification in healthcare, patients will help give already motivated patients the little nudge they need to stick to what they need to get better without looking at it as if it is a task. 

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