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Gamification in Healthcare Apps: Use Cases

Last updated on June 20th, 2023 at 09:52 am

gamification in health care apps

According to Statista, approximately 30,000 to 100,000 new apps are added to Google Play and App Store each month. Healthcare and fitness apps constitute 3.58% to 7.16%, but only a few enter the top. Therefore, healthcare apps appearing on the market need to be unique, useful, or unusual. Gamification has become one of the technologies that make users care for themselves. In this article, we’ll explain the necessity of gamification in healthcare apps. 

What is gamification and how does it work?

Gamification is using gaming techniques in non-gaming applications to solve user problems and engage the audience. Gamification turns a familiar routine into an exciting task with rewards, ratings, and competitions.

Gaming mobile platforms offer patients to undergo a procedure important for diagnosis and treatment and get a prize for its completion. Users are interested in coping with the task and improving their state of health. 

Modern medical apps are gradually going beyond stereotypes. The healthcare gamification market is expected to grow from $3,072.5 million in 2019 to $35,982.7 million in 2027. 

Why is it good to gamify medical apps?

Game elements do more than just entertain users of medical apps. Their mission is much more serious. 

They increase user engagement

Rewards and encouragement for completed tasks motivate people to monitor their health regularly and spend more time using the app. Patients will be able to achieve daily goals (treatment, physical activity, or weight loss) in a fun way. If customers are satisfied with the services, it is unlikely that they will leave this app for its competitors. 

Gamification attracts new customers

A gamified app looks interesting compared to its non-gamified counterpart. Thus, it attracts new audiences. Social media posts where people share game achievements work like good advertising. In addition, advanced users subscribe to the channel of the healthcare software development company. They share their experience of passing the tests, thereby introducing the brand to other people, and expanding the target audience. 

Gamified apps improve the state of health

The main purpose of gamification in health apps is to help people to maintain good physical and mental health. Gamification encourages them to come back to complete the tasks. Each step and regular actions have a positive effect on the state of the body. Therefore, gamification is a good option for people and businesses. 

Examples of gamification in mobile applications

To successfully implement gamification in healthcare, you need to consider an implementation strategy. Here are some examples of game elements that can be added to healthcare software, medical and fitness apps. 

  1. Storytelling

People love stories, and health app creators take advantage of that. They come up with stories in which the user becomes a participant. For example, a user of Zombies, Run!, a mobile app for running, becomes a hero of a mission. The user runs, listens to audio instructions, and completes tasks to defeat monsters. 

The player is walking and running by turns, collecting supplies, and earning rewards. Thus, s/he completes the mission. You can train outside, in the gym or at home. The user collects their missions and tracks the jogging progress. Currently, more than a million runners use this fitness game app. 

  1. Levels

Other creators include competitive elements and the system of levels. With each new level, the game becomes more and more difficult and additional actions are added. For example, a fitness app suggests running 10 kilometers during the week to get to the next level. This format entices users, motivating them to move on. 

  1. Progress display

People like to see how their actions affect the outcome. Therefore, tracking progress and daily statistics will fuel interest in sports, treatment, or proper nutrition. For example, fitness platforms allow you to track steps taken, mileage achieved, calories burned, taking into account different training, and so on. Medical heart rate monitoring apps can graphically display the progress of treatment. 

  1. Ratings

People love to compare themselves to others. It is important to demonstrate the activity of users in comparison with other participants. The results can be displayed in a rating table. It is possible to accompany the actions with the comments like “Your result is higher than that of 70% of the players”.

  1. Rewards

People like to be rewarded for completing tasks. The recognition system means additional points or currency which are exchanged for physical goods or discounts. For instance, in a mobile health app, you can use discount coupons to buy medicines or get a month of free subscription. 

  1. Avatars

An avatar is a virtual “representative” of a user. It supports the achievements of this person. The workout and calorie counting platform CARROT uses funny, chubby avatars. A user chooses a hero. When they lose weight, their avatar loses weight with them. On the contrary, if someone is gaining weight, the avatars are “punished”. 

Conclusion

The gamification scenarios listed above can be adapted to mobile health applications. Game elements will improve interaction with users and help people to deal with health problems without burdens. Gamified apps turn ordinary procedures into an exciting adventure that you want to repeat. When software has entertainment elements, people are more likely to use them. 

To implement gamification scenarios in a health application, you should contact an experienced healthcare software development company. Your IT partner will implement the functionality you need, include game elements, and ensure that the platform complies with the industry laws. 

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Alex Khomich
Alex Khomich
Alex Khomich is the CEO of Andersen, a software engineering firm with over 3000 employees and 13 global development centres.

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