Behavior Change: Improving Lives and Increasing Longevity with Gamification Part I

Behavior Change: Improving Lives and Increasing Longevity with Gamification Part I


Moderated by Gabe Zichermann, Chair of the GSummit, leads panelists Andres Moran of Earndit, Ron Gutman of HealthTap, Robert Plourde of UnitedHealth Group, Dr. Steve Kimmel Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dan Brostek of Aetna in a discussion about the changes in consumer behavior in health and wellness. An extraordinary amount of investment and interest are changing behaviors like never before. But are these results real and lasting? or are they temporary and situational?

But to begin Zichermann asks a little crudely (but to great laughter), “People are fucking fat. What can gamification do about it?”

Brostek begins by asking back, can you penalize people for gaining 20 pounds? What can you do?

Moran points out that Weight Watchers is a great success story that shows there is a place for game mechanics in weight loss. He believes if you can get people to change one thing about their life, the rest can fall into place. A little more excercise and they’ll start to change other things.

Dr. Kimmel disagrees, “If only it were that easy.” So much of obesity is a social issue, he says. Americans, he thinks, have gotten used to being fat. It goes deeper than how much we eat.

Zichermann asks, Is there an incentives driven model?

“I don’t think anyone wants to be fat,” says Dr. Kimmel. He recalls the 1980’s movie with Dom DeLuise called Fatso, to point out that 30 years ago what was percieved as fat doesn’t compare with the standards of today.

Gutman believes that if we can keep the physicians and nurses incentivised to be a part of the game it can help. They should become a part of the holistic game.

Zichermann agrees that physicians and nurses are a big part of the equation.



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