Let’s learn from the gaming industry to make patient engagement addictive

Greg Nelson Business of Healthcare, Healthcare Technology

Healthcare innovators have tried many different types of engagement apps to help people make healthier decisions and stick to care plans.  Odds are, you have a few on your phone already.  But what is often missing when the clinical side tries to dip into the mobile arts for engagement is that they forget about the ‘fun’ factor.  I have seen too many clinical trials of patient engagement applications that either just focus on getting the raw content into the interface, or assume that adding a “Debbie Diabetes” persona gives the quota of fun.   

Whether it’s PokemonGo or the latest swipey InstaFaceChat app, clearly the designers have crafted ways of luring and addicting people to continually participate.  

This excellent article from The Economist profiles the science behind app addition and talks about the success and some of the unintended consequences.  Healthcare developers are wise to take notice.

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