Gamification » Gamification In Healthcare

Best Examples of Gamification in Healthcare (and Why You Should Consider It) in 2024

Updated: February 01, 2024

Gamification is a familiar part of life these days.

There are many apps and software products that use gamification to motivate responses from consumers, and the healthcare space is no different. Health goals can be hard to keep in sight, and many people struggle to maintain their level of focus when it comes to maintaining excellent physical health.

Gamification can make a huge impact on the way that people experience the process of staying healthy, and there is no reason that you should not be open to using it to create better habits and healthier patients. Whether you are someone who is looking to make a change in your lifestyle or a doctor or a nurse looking to motivate patients and other parties to stay on track with their own health goals, you can use gamification to make this process fun, easy and rewarding.

What is Gamification in Healthcare?

In healthcare, gamification is used to make it easier and more motivating to stay on target with goals. Wellness apps are one of the most familiar ways that you can access the benefits of gamification in the healthcare space. You might have used these apps to track caloric intake, sleep, and workout.

There are other tools that can help patients to be more engaged with their overall health and well-being, like quizzes, interactive learning modules that are motivated by achievement awards, and more. You can use all the gamification tools that make other industries and processes fun to make taking care of your health enjoyable.

Gamification in healthcare helps to make it more fun to work out and eat well so that these routines can become habitual. Without the habit of being healthy, it can be really easy to slip back into bad habits. Gamification helps to make sure that the process of generating new routines is fun so that it's easy to stay on track toward goals. Working out and eating well can get old fast without a sense of fun surrounding it.

Gamification in healthcare seeks to make the processes of being responsible for your health more fun than they would be without a sense of being rewarded for your efforts. There are so many ways to use gamification strategies in this space, and there are many apps and websites that offer support to make the process of caring for your well-being much more enjoyable overall.

How to use Gamification in Healthcare

Healthcare as a whole is interested in promoting good habits. This means that eating well, sleeping well, and working out often enough is important to everyone’s well-being.

These are some of the processes that can be hardest to make into a routine, and many patients struggle with commitment to these goals. Doing lip service to changing your lifestyle is one thing, but being motivated enough to make essential changes is a very different animal.

Gamification creates rewards related to workouts, education, healthy eating, and more. An app or a website will help to guide the process of tracking these goals and achievements with the intention of generating a new routine that is sustainable for the patient. This is an effective motivator that can be used for patients with varying levels of need and with varying physical conditions as well.

Gamification engagement to improves health

Examples of Gamification in Healthcare

If you are still not quite sure what you can do to gamify the healthcare experience, you can use these examples to inspire you. You might not be able to use all of these tools in your unique situation, but there is bound to be a gamification model that is useful for your situation, no matter how unique.

1. Social Engagement Improves Health

One of the best ways that you can gamify the health improvement process is to make it social. Social engagement with teams or with other users of an app or site that are going through the same journey can motivate and inspire people in ways that the advice of a doctor cannot.

2. Reward and Track Workouts

There are various tracking apps that offer the benefit of recording workouts, healthy eating, and sleep so that patients can guide their own fitness or self-improvement efforts with ease. These apps offer rewards for achievements like getting 8 hours of sleep every day for a week or eating healthy for your lunches. There are many ways to gamify this process that help to create better habits and improved healthy living.

3. Breaking Recovery and Rehab into Smaller Goals

If your patient or you yourself are going through a rehab process, it can be hard to stay motivated to keep pushing ahead. Tracking your recovery and rehab can be a lengthy and tough process when you don’t have the right tools to work with. You will find that gamifying the process breaks down this huge goal into much smaller and more attainable goals that make it possible to see your progress in real-time.

4. Motivate Consistent Effort

It can be hard to make yourself get up and work out when you are still sore from the day before. If you don’t feel the best, you might also skip your healthy diet for the day or choose not to work out. Having the motivation to eat well and to be active can be tough without the help of gamification. This is one of the areas where healthcare apps with gamification shine the most.

5. Make it Fun

Working on goals should be fun, and there are many ways that gamification makes this process fun. You will be much more inspired to engage in working out and eating well if there are fun rewards or fun activities associated with doing so. Having fun while working out and caring for yourself makes the process sustainable in ways that it might not be without gamification.

Using gamification to enhance health.

Why Use Gamification in Healthcare? Benefits explained.

Gamification helps make it fun and rewarding to accomplish goals and to make new habits.

This is so important in healthcare, where providing daily support for your health can be less-than-inspiring overall. Many people struggle to keep up their new good habits but being able to make a game out of these habits can make it much more rewarding to engage in them.

The gamification process taps into the reward center in the brain, which is reward-seeking. This means that you get a dopamine hit every time you finish a goal and are successful. Gamification is one of the best ways to make sure that you reward new habits in a way that makes your brain feel positive about them and wish to repeat them. This is why gamification works so well and can create such a lasting impact on good habit formation and learning of various kinds.

The dopamine response actually makes tough things feel fun. This is why people are willing to work hard or be uncomfortable with things that they are natively interested in. The reward that their brain gives them for connecting with specific activities is present when there is native interest. Gamification taps into this dopamine response so that tough tasks, hard work, and things that are not natively interesting to people can be done with the same sense of enjoyment.

Gamification Platforms for Healthcare

1. Mango Health

Need help remembering to take your pills, stay on schedule, and exercise regularly?  This is the right app for this need, and patients or consumers who use this health app actually earn monetary rewards for responding to reminders or indicating that they have taken certain actions that are intended to promote good health.

The app sends out $5 -$10 gift cards from places like Target or GAP to users who meet goals related to their well-being and their tracking of good behaviors. This is one of the best ways to make it fun to take care of yourself, and monetary rewards are always motivating for any kind of new behavior support.

2. Ayogo

This app was developed for patients with chronic conditions, and it is designed to help them to create new and healthier habits for their specific condition. The reminders that the app offers to promote new and better behaviors, and there are activities, games, and other kinds of actions that can be taken to help these patients to learn more about their condition and life changes that will help make it more manageable.

The behaviors that are encouraged with this app are intended to become lifestyle changes that are sustainable, and that can improve patient well-being for the long term. This is one of the most effective apps that can be used to guide better health routines.

3. RespondWell

If you are going through rehab for any kind of injury, you probably are not always sure what you need to be accomplishing with your activities and exercises. It can also be really hard to want to push for results when things hurt or are very hard. This app helps patients to learn what the goals of their exercises are and how they can make improvements in their use of these therapies.

This is a gamified platform that helps to monitor motion, commitment to routines, and other essentials to get the most effect from rehab therapy at home. There are virtual animated trainers, music, and 3D environment training to help guide rehab work. This app does need to be paired with a Microsoft Kinect to be used.

4. GymPact

Made by the founder of Guitar Hero, this cool app is made to help people to learn to exercise consistently and get paid in real dollars for their efforts. This is a really unique app because users agree to have money debited from their debit card or bank account if they miss goals or milestones through a lack of engagement. Every missed day deducts $5. This money is sent to a collective pool that is used to create payouts for those who DO meet their goals.

The flaw in this app is that gains do not pay as well as they should, but if you are not able to remain motivated without real stakes, monetary losses can be a great motivator. This is one of the most unique ways to motivate and gamify to work out meeting health goals, but it might not be for everyone.

5. Myfitnesspal

Do you wish that you had a friend who helped you to stay on track and provided the motivation that you need to eat healthily, sleep more, and work out? If you don’t have this person in your life, or even if you do, you can benefit from the help of Myfitnesspal to keep your goals within reach. This is one of the most comprehensive health and wellness tracking apps, and you can get awarded badges and other perks as you meet certain thresholds in your use of this app.

There are so many things to track on this application that you might not even want to keep track of all the data that it offers modules for. You can even track and motivate water intake and specific kinds of caloric intake tracking with this app. This is a great tool to help you to make new habits, eat with a more health-conscious attitude, and stay on track toward your goals.

Engagement in gamification to support the health

Healthcare Does Not Need to be Dull and Boring

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be a struggle. If you are a doctor, or just someone looking to make a change in their life, you might need the help of a gamified platform to make this process more fun. Changing your routine and creating healthier habits can be really rewarding when goals are broken down into manageable bite-sized chunks.

There are so many reasons that people need a push to be healthy, and gamifying the process can be really easy with the right tools. Gamification is one of the best ways to make anything that is hard to do more fun. Rewarding your brain with dopamine and rewarding your pocketbook are two ways that you can access gamified rewards for being more active and eating better every day.

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