There’s great potential for games in health but it’s not here yet
Consulting firm ICF recently released a report titled, “Gaming to Engage the Healthcare Consumer.” Although the report details how gamification is increasing across just about all industries, it more closely reveals how games in health is booming for a variety of reasons. These reasons include:
- A trend toward value based care
- The increasing role of the patient as a consumer.
- The ever desirable target market of the millennial generation.
The millennial generation consists of adults aged 18-27. These individuals are listed as one of the most sought after groups by health insurers. Why are they so sought after. A few reasons really:
- This demographic has reached adulthood amidst the very idea of gamification.
- They have also grown up seemingly with a smartphone, a tablet, and a laptop tethered to their big toes, which makes using gamification an even better strategy to attract them.
- Also, let’s not forget that these people account for approximately a whopping 38% of uninsured Americans.
- Lastly, as a rule they are a healthy bunch. This makes them a cheap date to insure.
With this information in the vault, how does the health industry go about effectively targeting this demographic? It’s not as simple as it may sound as the report states.
“Developing games with clear instructional objectives and measurable learning outcomes requires work — not just play. Success in this space requires a team of multidisciplinary, multifaceted experts, including advisors in healthcare, instructional design, research, assessment, and game design. Additionally, the team must have a proven methodology to apply these concepts to a fun and engaging game style.” (ICF International)
It seems like the industry is still waiting for that one killer app that will propel the industry into the forefront of the gamification trend. This app would be one that effectively attracts the millennial generation as a health consumer, and one that makes full use of the generation’s comfort zone, which includes an always connected level of activity through smartphones and tablets.
In conclusion, plenty of talent is out there among the health industry to devise that killer app. There’s money to be made by doing it, and when that is in play, the innovation is sure to follow. On the health industry’s virtual field of dreams, “Build it and they will come.”
Flickr Image by Mr. Scradam
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