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Why is there a need for gamification in healthTech?

Motivation and its impact on people’s work, hobbies and everyday life is an escalating field. Many new motivational ideas have been designed and tested. Compared to traditional persuasive technology and health games, gamification offers several advantages for motivating behavioural change for health and well-being and is increasingly used. The method is widely used in the field of developing digital pharmacology and e-health, due to the same industrial challenges of our time – problems with the client’s retention, conversion, and engagement.

What is gamification in healthTech?

Research has been made for Gamification within health and well-being, where the effect of gamification was positive. Gamification has a positive impact on health-related behaviours. Applications in healthTech have been proven to yield an engagement, but to reach the full potential, it is necessary to build solutions on theories that exploit the core experience and psychological effects of game mechanics. That is why Gamification is increasing in the field of digital pharmacology, life-science and e-health. It lies in its power to make the user group evaluate their behaviour and change them for the better.

Gamification vs other systems in healthTech

Studies have been made on Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients, where randomised controlled trials were in part conducted on patients being offered online social support and gamification features, as well as a control group that had no access to a website. The patients showed more physical activity and health care utilisation, as well as showing a decrease in medication overuse. Secondary outcomes included empowerment and increased knowledge of their diagnoses. Physical activity increased over time for patients having access to social support sections combined with gamification. Patients who had access to social support sections or the gaming experience of the website gained more empowerment in theirs. Patients who were offered a gamified experience also used the website more often.

Gamification and user engagement

In the field of life-science and e-health gamification has emerged as an essential tool to link many of the motivational- and behavioural theories in psychology, central to successful behaviour change. Gamification presents itself as an excellent tool for this by showing a clear target and rules for the patient(s) to follow on their way to achieving their goals. If a patient believes improvement is a possibility and that hard work will make this expectation a reality, he or she will work harder to achieve that goal. The motivation increases as a result of articulating what the patient(s) can expect as a result of their efforts in the field.

Some gamification examples and success stories from healthTech

In a study called Design of an mHealth (mobile health) App for the Self-management of Adolescent Type 1 Diabetes, adolescents with type 1 diabetes and their family caregivers were interviewed. In the evaluation phase, a pilot group of adolescents with glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were sampled. The results showed that the app-users’ daily average frequency of blood glucose measurement increased significantly. The satisfaction was high among the participants, with 88% stating that they would continue to use the system. The conclusion was that the mHealth diabetes app with the use of gamification incentives showed an improvement in the frequency of blood glucose monitoring in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

GWEN as a solution in HealthTech

GWEN has been implemented in many different contexts within healthTech. From an application measuring blood pressure for patients with the goal of feeling motivated to take the blood pressure on an everyday basis, to an application engaging addicts to stay sober. In other popular fields, you can find GWEN in the fitness industry in several applications focused on well-being.

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