Gamification in Health and Wellness:
The gaming and health sectors have traditionally been pretty far removed from one another, but there is a perfect storm of technology, access and content that has the potential of driving these two industries closer together.
The gaming industry is big. In the US alone, total revenues in 2015 were over $23 Billion, and it’s expected to be about $100 Billion globally this year. Despite this size and growth, there is very little being done, at least in my opinion, to disrupt healthcare using what we know and can learn from this successful industry.
And that’s where I’m hoping today’s guest can help us out. My guest is Anna Sort. Anna has a lot of titles. She is a nurse, an entrepreneur, and a professor, all of which are titles and roles that you frequently come across in the health tech innovation sector. But she also carries another title that you don’t hear very often at medical conferences. She’s an accomplished and avid gamer. She’s been playing games since she was 5 years old (25 years), and has spent countless hours playing World of Warcraft and Overwatch among many other titles. In fact, she loves gaming so much, that she’s found ways to incorporate techniques she’s learned from the video game industry to help patients, carers and professionals and to drive behavior change.
Anna is based in Barcelona, and in 2013, she co-founded her company, PlayBenefit.com. There she helps companies enhance engagement, learning and satisfaction. I heard Anna speak at the eHealth week conference in Amsterdam recently, and I was really impressed at her understanding and approach to how we can improve outcomes, education and awareness through the engagement methodologies used in the gaming industry.
In this interview, Anna talks about the six steps to achieving epic wins in healthcare. What is an Epic Win? In gaming terms, an epic win is an outcome that is so extraordinarily positive you had no idea it was possible until you achieved it, and I think we need more of these in healthcare. Anna prepared a PDF that you can download that goes through all six steps to help us work toward epic wins in healthcare, and she gives some practical examples and advice on how you can apply these steps to your project.
● Learning through gaming
● How to use existing games to help with diabetes awareness
● Setting a clear goal for gamification
● Understanding your audience
● Behavior-change theories
● Fun and play theories
● Game design and mechanics
● The importance of feedback
● Game companies that use health add-ons
● Mobile health initiatives
● Backlash against gamified health apps
● Educating health professionals
- Best advice: “It’s not the problem, it’s how you react to it.”
- Selected Charity: Global Giving – specifically empowering women entrepreneurs (http://www.globalgiving.org/ )
Links and Resources Mentioned
- Play World of Warcraft
- Download the PlayBenefit “World of Warcraft Diabetes AddOn”
- Play Social Diabetes
- Play Candy Crush
- Download and Use the MySugr App or visit the MySugr Website https://mysugr.com/
- Play Lumosity http://lumosity.com
- Play SuperBetter https://www.superbetter.com
Stay in touch with Anna Sort
Connect with Games for Health
Videos on Gamification in Health
ABOUT THE HOST
As an engineer and business leader, I've worked to develop, launch and scale innovative products and solutions that impact health and wellness. As an entrepreneur, I know firsthand what it takes to start a business, build a team, and compete in the global marketplace.
On Digital Health Today, I leverage my experiences to help great leaders and innovators tell their stories and connect to users, investors and other stakeholders.