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Gamification: Leveling Up Patient Adherence

Aug 17, 2017

Gamification—using video game–like tasks to creatively engage patients and foster treatment adherence—is gaining traction in health care. Since the cost of nonadherence in the U.S. is estimated as high as $337.1 billion annually, it’s no wonder pharmaceutical and medical-device manufacturers are taking this novel approach.

Examples of gamification include:

  • Apps that give patients points for completing therapy-related tasks
  • Games that teach patients about their role in successful therapy
  • Wearable trackers that offer incentives for meeting certain daily fitness goals

Gamifying aspects of the treatment experience engages patients in an innovative way and makes participating in therapy more attractive.

Studies have shown gamification has a positive impact on adherence, but discussions continue about how to balance appeal and effectiveness. The general question is whether the wow factor leads to sustained behavior modification.

Manufacturers who want to gamify their patients’ medication experience should keep two important warnings in mind:

  1. Behavior change is not a game.

In developing a gamification application, it is crucial to be clear about what behavior needs to change. The objectives must be stated from the beginning to encourage evaluation and assessment. Users should be able to set goals, track behavior, and provide feedback. Manufacturers must also ensure their efforts respect the seriousness of patients’ conditions and treatments.

  1. Assumptions are not evaluations.

Rewards might work initially but become too familiar over time, leading to disengagement. Deeply understanding the distinctions of patients’ intangible and tangible motivators, as well as how they can vary between disease states, is necessary for developers.

While gamification can be a useful tool for manufacturers to boost adherence, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. It does not replace high-touch, personalized patient contact.

Health Care Contact Center Adherence Support

Ensuring patients take medications properly is no game. WRB, an EnvoyHealth company, knows that even patients who enthusiastically engage with new prescriptions are still at long-term risk of nonadherence.

WRB helps patients adhere to therapy through real-time support from trained and dedicated professionals, quick access via multiple channels, and timely responses to product questions. WRB can also provide prescription fill reminders via text, email, phone calls, or direct mail.

We build relationships with patients. WRB specialists in nursing, reimbursement, and more are ready 24/7 to educate patients about medications and medical devices. Our patient adherence, medical information, and reimbursement hub services integrate fluidly to ensure patients can access medications, medical devices, and support.

WRB is a health care contact center with more than 20 years of white-glove, premium multi-channel service.

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