What are Healthcare Gamification Applications and What Benefits Do They Provide?
Healthcare gamification apps take the help of information technology and other such advanced innovations to provide gaming tools and experience to patients for their better rehabilitation and recovery. Various studies conducted by top universities and research institutes have proven the utility of healthcare gamification applications. There are various benefits associated with these applications, for both- the patients and the medical staff.
If there was one sector that was the most positively impacted by the ICT revolution and digitization of services, it is, without an iota of doubt, the healthcare sector. The ICT revolution brought in the concept of telemedicine and newer advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence, which are furthering the speed of delivery of healthcare solutions. One such concept is healthcare gamification.
What does Healthcare Gamification Exactly Mean?
Gamification means using gaming tools or apps for non-gaming purposes in order to boost performance. For example, gaming tools can be used to enhance the learning and cognitive abilities of students, gaming apps can be used to increase the efficiency of the employees, and so on. Healthcare gamification, on similar lines, entails the use of gaming applications or software for various objectives ranging from disease prevention and health management to medication adherence.
Take the study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health; this study found out that one of the consequences of Pokémon Go was that people stepped out of their houses and the average steps taken by a person who played the game increased drastically. However, the study also found that this trend didn’t continue for long and with the decrease in popularity of the game, the situation returned to what it was before. However, this proves that the concept of healthcare gamification can introduce certain changes among people so that they maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Another research published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development underscores the case in point. A study was conducted in certain US hospitals wherein a group of patients suffering from spinal dysfunction or trauma was grouped. Since such patients need wheelchair mandatorily for their regular movement, their level of activity and exercise was way below normal levels. In such cases, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases substantially. As part of the study, some patients from the group were provided with an application called GameWheel, a racing game, wherein a physical push on the wheelchair wheel translated into an increase in the speed of the car. The results of the study were astonishing; the heart rate, oxygen levels, and ventilation of the patients provided with this application improved substantially as compared to the patients who weren’t provided with the interface.
3 Most Important Benefits of Healthcare Gamification Applications
In the last few years or so, many digital technology companies and healthcare companies have started investing in the healthcare gamification market. One main reason behind the growth in investments and the market revenue is the wide range benefits of healthcare gamification applications provide. Some of these benefits are discussed below:
- Improved Physical Therapy and Health of Patients
As seen from the two studies mentioned above and numerous others conducted by various universities, healthcare gamification applications introduce a change in the lifestyle of patients that helps in their rehabilitation and recovery at a faster pace. These therapeutic tools help in creating virtual environments through simulation which helps in better recuperation of the patients.
- Better Education to People Regarding Diseases
These apps help in educating people about various diseases and ways to prevent them. Also, these softwares help healthcare institution employees to understand the mentality of patients and act accordingly. This increases the overall productivity of the employees and the healthcare institution. Also, the patient’s trust in the doctors and medical staff around him/her increases exponentially.
- Better Gathering of Patient Data and Information
Healthcare gamification apps, in order to provide personalized and customized touch, collect vital medical data of the patient. Along with the data, certain parameters are also recorded which then are evaluated regularly to keep a track of the improvement in the patient’s health. All the data and parameters, thus collected, helps doctors to understand the medical condition of the patient at any given point in time.
The Bottom Line
The medical world has benefited hugely from the technological advancements that have taken place in the last few decades. Healthcare gamification is the latest example of this symbiotic relationship. Along with the healthcare sector, recently, the pharmaceutical industry, too, has sought the help of information technology to boost customer engagement and manufacture critical pharmaceuticals in a more efficient manner. All in all, the number of healthcare gamification apps and healthcare gamification market is bound to grow in the coming years.
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