Engaging Gamification Examples in the Healthcare Sector

In our first article about Gamification, we explained  the basics of the concept and what it’s being used for in today’s innovation focused society. We discussed how  gamification can be used in education, business and healthcare. This article focuses on the latter. We will have a detailed look at some very interesting healthcare projects which are harnessing the awesome power of gamification to their benefit.

If we were to look at the origins of healthcare gamification, we would probably have to mention pediatricians. Given the fact that they’re having the ”toughest customers” out of all the other medicine practitioner fields, they had to invent ways in which to turn the odds slightly in their favor. Offering up sweets, toys, picture books or playing cartoons are only a few of the solutions pediatricians implemented in order to get their young patients to cooperate. These were implemented before, during or after the respective medical procedure, depending on each doctor’s gamification mechanism. The next set of patients that had to be offered various incentives in order to communicate were the elderly and the mentally afflicted. Today, gamification is being implemented in many more medical fields, with the aim of improving the efficiency of treatments and creating innovative healthcare solutions.

VR and Healthcare Gamification

A team of researchers from the York St John University in the U.K. wanted to see if Virtual Reality could be used as a non-pharmacological analgesic to aid in pain management. They gathered a couple of adult volunteers, gave them VR headsets and asked them to play Radial-G while holding one of their hands in cold water.

They discovered that the volunteers who were fully immersed in the experience were the ones who managed to resist pain the longest.

Apps and Healthcare Gamification

The PRECIOUS project was funded by the European Union. It features a smartphone app that is meant to help individuals plan for and adopt a healthier lifestyle. It functions very simply: you set your goals, you keep track of them, you eat appropriately and work out, you try not to stress, you sleep like a normal human being should, you get healthier and (hopefully) keep it up. The app registers your data inputs and is able to suggest constant improvements in order for you to be more and more efficient. All of this is enhanced by an interface that is heavily based on gamification mechanisms. You can download it for free for Android and iOS.

Video Games and Healthcare Gamification

EteRNA is a browser game created in order to help scientists better understand the great mysteries of RNA molecules. Imagine playing a game and all the while helping out researchers gather data about something that could potentially help save a lot of lives. How cool is that?


The Alzheimer’s Research UK have created a dementia battling game called Amyloids. It’s based on the fact that during Alzheimer’s, the toxic protein called Amyloid starts building up in the brain. The game is quite nostalgic and tries to educate players about the real battles that everyone affected by the disease is fighting every day, including the researchers that are constantly looking for a cure.

We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a closer look at how gamification partnered with the healthcare scene. We will soon be posting a couple of similar articles focusing on Education and Business, in order to create a complete image of what can truly be achieved through gamification. In the meantime, if you want to find out the latest tech developments, download our eBook on the future of tech. Stay tuned for more gamification examples!

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