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Likitha A
Likitha A July 12, 2022

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the way healthcare systems were functioning. Across the globe, the healthcare system was not prepared to deal with the crisis, which required instant mobilization of resources and challenged the whole population.

And rightly so, healthcare 2.0 emerged, which changed the entire approach. A new generation of smart apps that made healthcare accessible and affordable, a journey towards quicker and quality healthcare at your fingertips!

Thus, the need to improve user engagement in healthcare is rather paramount. Gamification is the best way to create fun and enjoyable experiences which help the user stay motivated and engaged in improving their health.

This article will discuss some top trends in healthcare and how we can boost engagement using gamification.

Gamification in Healthcare

Gamification in healthcare is a process where you take the core of what makes games fascinating and incorporate it into the healthcare apps to motivate users to go after their health goals and achieve them.

Giving instant feedback in the form of rewards and showcasing progress and statistics with the help of progress bars is a great way to drive the users toward habit-making. It shows the users they are on the right track and leading healthier lives. 

“Health is a habit” – Practo.

This not only instills motivation in the user but also positively changes their daily behaviors. Nonetheless, we humans tend to struggle to remain consistent over time but like to stay on top of all the charts, and gamification helps make these habits easier and fun to maintain.

Top Trends in Healthcare Gamification

Drinking water and exercising on time are daily activities that we often dread and do reluctantly. Gamified apps add an element of competition and extra motivation that makes users look forward to completing these tasks regularly.

With the increased usage of smartphones and consequent dependency on healthcare apps, the healthcare gamification market is projected to reach USD 6094 Million by 2028. Let us look at some of the top trends which emerged!

Telehealth Apps

Telehealth apps have disrupted the market during the pandemic. The ability to provide remote health services has helped millions of people during times of crisis. And leveraging gamification can improve engagement in telehealth apps leading to healthier lives. It also can encourage rural populations to use the app for quality health outcomes. 

Mango Health helps you develop healthy habits, record your weight, blood pressure, and more. It also provides you with all the information you need about your medication, including the side effects. The app will alert you when it is time to take your next dose while giving you points and rewards for each time you complete a task or perform an action like taking your meds on time or maintaining healthy habits.

Mango's gamified screen
Mango’s gamified screen

Fitness Apps 

Fitness and well-being apps have been in the market for quite some time. The main goal of these apps is to monitor and track your workout goals to help you reach a higher level of fitness and the next big milestone you desire.

Nike is the #1 running app worldwide using gamification. The app collects data about users’ chosen sports, activity levels, and preferred styles. Using this data to personalize the experience by offering rewards, points, and leaderboards for every time they reach a milestone.  This allows app users to spend 3x more than guest customers. 

Nike's reward screen
Nike’s reward screen

Apps on Mental and Emotional Well-being 

Talking about mental health and well-being is not a stigma anymore, and the idea of using game elements or games to improve mental health is not new. Games drive positive behavioral patterns and increase problem-solving and decision-making skills. Gamification helps keep a healthy mind as it contributes significantly toward positive behavioral change and simulation.

SuperBetter builds resilience and helps people stay strong in the most challenging times. It engages its users by allowing them to personally work on their recovery from stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It lowers the barriers to discussing mental health issues by increasing awareness and makes cognitive behavioral therapy less boring to those using the app. 

superbetter's gamified screen
SuperBetter’s gamified screen

Gamification Tips to Boost User Engagement in Health Apps

We are all into instant gratification these days, and gamification is the best way to give feedback through badges, points, and leaderboards instantly.

The health apps have challenges, like losing motivation while finishing a task or maintaining a habit, lack of concentration while meditating, and more. And the best way to boost engagement and resolve challenges is by incorporating game elements into the app.

#1 Celebrate Progress to Reinforce Engagement with Progress Bars

Progress Bars

Instant feedback is not just enough. Give your users the ability to track their progress as they succeed and move forward. 

A progress bar is the most effective way to show the progress of a particular task or habit. Users can see how far they are from reaching their goals. 

When sufficiently motivated, we tend not to leave things at hand unfinished, and the progress bar helps users complete a task and get rewarded at the end.

#2 Increase Loyalty with Reward programs

Badges and Point Collection

Badges and stickers can be used to represent accomplishments that users can collect for each achievement towards better health, share among their friends and family, and add to their profiles.

Points are another progress indicator. Give the user points for every activity they perform on the app, which can collectively lead to a new reward or a level. 

Rewards

Rewards work the best if you want to retain your users and engage them for a more extended period. Receiving something in return excites and encourages them to revisit your application and finish a task.

Educate Users with Trivia and Quizzes

Trivia and short quizzes help users engage with your app in a fun and engaging way. These interactive quizzes not only boost engagement but also increase the awareness around why you are performing a specific task or building a habit and how it can help you have a healthier life. This also creates a sense of achievement and productivity.

#3 Instill a sense of competition with Levels and Leaderboards

Levels and leaderboards can be used while developing a habit. Starting from the basics, which are as simple as drinking water or taking meds on time, and gradually increasing the level of difficulty as the users progress. 

This gradual increase in complexity while moving to new levels gives the user a sense of development and improves their competence. 

Levels are the best indicators of how engaged your users are in your app. They can also unlock new challenges and rewards as they advance to the next level. 

This helps in long-term user engagement and retention. The higher the level, the more engaged the user is in getting healthier or fit.

These levels and leaderboards can be shared among users’ friends and family across social media platforms and within the app communities.

Apple, through its watch, delivers innovative features such as enabling users to get into workout sessions with friends and delivering customized workout routines and tutorials for its users.

#4 Empower users through Personalization 

Notifications are the most effective way of giving feedback to the users to encourage positive user behavior. Sending personalized messages to prompt users when they complete a task, such as meditating or finishing their workout, is a great way to boost engagement. 

Curating personalized content and contextual learning is a great way to boost engagement. Every time a user achieves a milestone, you can suggest the next steps towards getting healthier by sending personalized notifications. This can be achieved by analyzing user behavior and segmenting them accordingly. 

Create relevant and precise audience segments with Upshot.ai’s powerful segmentation platform which enables you to engage the right target segment.

Wrapping up

Digitization is taking over every industry, and healthcare is no exception. Gamification is one of the most effective ways to encourage users to stay healthy and start their journey towards having a healthier life. With the rapid growth of healthcare apps in the market, the healthcare providers who integrate gamification will have a competitive advantage over others. 

Lastly, gamification in healthcare is not just about badges and rewards. It is about empowering users with the most accurate, comprehensive, and curated information and care, enabling them to make better healthcare decisions while making their experience memorable and fun. 

The Upshot.ai Advantage

Upshot.ai is an omnichannel, user engagement, and gamification platform that helps digital product owners and marketers improve product adoption and conversions.

With Upshot.ai, HealthTech, EdTech, and FinTech firms can enhance their digital experiences with pre-built gamification features. It can provide personalized insights, actionable recommendations, and contextual nudges designed to deepen its relationship with its users. Book a demo of the most comprehensive user engagement and gamification platform to achieve your digital product goals. Join our communities for more insights, guides, and best practices that keep you updated with proven strategies and tips to supercharge your campaigns.

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