3 Keys to Healthcare Gaming

Jonah Comstock has a great article over on mobi health news about Ayogo building an adherence game for big pharma. The article is short on details since Michael Fergusson, CEO of Ayogo, wasn’t given permission to demonstrate the game. However, the article highlights three elements that I have yet to see really done well in the “gaming healthcare” space. Each one of them is incredibly powerful and could change healthcare, but I have yet to see them implemented well. They are:

  • Social
  • Fun
  • Competition

I can’t think of three more powerful motivators that exist. People love to be social (see Facebook). We love to have fun. Most of us also love a good competition.

It sounds like Ayogo is trying incorporate all 3 of these elements into an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) that helps to improve prescription compliance. You don’t need all 3 elements to create a successful application, but how powerful it is if you can nail all three of them.

I think the concept of healthcare gaming is an important one and someone is going to finally crack the code. The problem I’ve seen is that the healthcare games I’ve seen too date are too much healthcare and not enough game. As I’ve written about before, health improvement needs to be a side effect of enjoying the game. Basically, you should want to play the game whether there was a health benefit or not. That’s a high barrier to overcome, but has a nice pot of gold waiting on the other side for whoever cracks the code.