have a responsibility to provide
information and services to
help patients manage their own
provide information on their
health in order to receive free
information and services
That word “services” is where
the gamification “fun” comes in.
The four services patients most
expect or want are:
You see which one is at the top?
So that’s what patients say
they want. But does it work in
the real world? Don’t ask me.
Ask the New England Journal
of Medicine, which ran a
paper entitled A Randomized,
Controlled Trial of Financial
Incentives for Smoking Cessation.
Over 800 smokers received either
information or information-plus-financial-incentive to quit
smoking (rising rewards for
completing a program, quitting
for six months, or quitting
for 12 months). The incentive
group had nearly three times
the quitting success rate of the
To use an example from our own
files, here’s what a gamification
program looks like, in which
patients receive reward points
for adherence (see graphic, left).
THE REAL STORy BEHINd MEdICATION
NON-AdHERENCE: A COMEdy
To counter these tendencies, gamification adds positivity to
taking a medication: immediate gratification, gaming dynamics,
social elements. The benefits, scientifically validated by behavioral
economics and psychology, are numerous:
Here’s a typical reluctant patient in a typical situation: