The evolution of healthcare across history is a fascinating and storied journey, with all sorts of unexpected twists and turns as human beings have learnt more and more about how to look after themselves. Healthcare has come on in leaps and bounds since the advent of the technological age and there is so much different about medicine today than even 20 years ago. One thing that is affecting the landscape, as it has been affecting all sorts of areas of industry, is ‘gamification’. The gamification of healthcare, as in areas where ‘play’ has been introduced as a route to better healthcare, is fascinating and has almost limitless potential. Let’s take a look at a few ways that contemporary healthcare has been and continues to be gamified.
This is one of the areas that has been most prominently transformed by the presence of games, in an almost literal sense. “Games have always been a part of physical fitness since physical activity often comes in the form of a game. However, with the invention of fitness apps, fitness trackers, companies like Fitbit and applications like Wii Sports, there’s just so much gamification in fitness health”, explains Gideon Stein, a medical assistant at Writing Services and Boomessays. Fitness apps are everywhere, and they are designed to conveniently motivate their users to exercise and to keep track of the positive effects that exercise has on the body. It’s a remarkably effective example of gamification and it is adopted all over the world.
Remembering when to take medication and what medication should be taken when can be a real hassle for people. For elderly people or people with illnesses that affect memory or attention, it can be very problematic. There is now a myriad of apps that reward the users for successfully meeting all of their medication markers on a weekly basis. This is particularly useful for younger users with illnesses like diabetes and helps them feel like they are meeting their targets and make sure that their healing stays right on track.
Gamifying Healthcare For Kids
Healthcare, and all of its side-effects, can be boring, tiresome or scary for younger patients or even just for kids who are trying to stay healthy. However, a kid will likely have no problem with spending hours on end trying to beat a level in their game or overcome some other sort of obstacle when playing video games. Healthy living and medical treatments can be packaged in a way that makes kids want to beat the levels in a way which keeps them focused. “Imagine your kid has to take a pill every day that is bitter and difficult to swallow. There could be an app that they play each morning where at the end of each day’s play they have to eat a pill to progress to the next level, which could be packaged in a box that has imagery from the game on the outside”, says Shruthi Patel, health aide at Academized and Australianreviewer. It’s easy to see how much more enjoyable this would be for a young person than facing up to the cold reality of what is really happening. They may even start to look forward to it!
The really tricky thing about chronic mental health and mental health-related disorders like anxiety, depression, fatigue and weight gain, is that the mental issues that are at the root of them often sap all of an individuals energy and zeal for overcoming their issue. Games create a track, a linear path towards rehabilitation which it doesn’t matter how your feeling, will never change. They can also be relaxing and motivational, at the same time, which is quite unique to their formula. For people with mental health, games that give them tasks and deadlines in a manageable, even enjoyable way can help to keep them on track and keep progress up.
Games are no longer to be considered the pastime of under-inspired youth, or slackers. Understanding the psychological elements to ‘play’ has unlocked our ability to see all of the amazing and diverse applications games can have within healthcare, to the benefits of young and old.