Patients often find it difficult to adhere to the medical guidance prescribed by their doctor. In many cases, this is due to a lack of engagement with the treatment plan. Gamification can be an effective way to improve patient medication adherence by making the process more engaging and fun. Let’s discuss how gamification helps improve patient engagement and increase medication adherence. Discover how Octalysis can create a user journey that is as engaging as a live visit to a doctor.
The healthcare industry has struggled with patient engagement for ages, particularly with adherence to medication plans. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, only 30% of patients take their medication as prescribed for life-threatening diseases. This number is even lower for chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. A variety of factors can contribute to poor patient adherence, including forgetfulness, side effects, and cost.
In another recent report, the NIH noted that patients are more likely to adhere to their treatment plan if they are actively engaged in their care. This is where gamification comes in. . When it comes to healthcare, gamification can take many different forms, from apps that track progress to digital games that make treatment more fun.
Why is patient medical adherence so low?
Only half of all persons with chronic illnesses follow their treatment plan, according to statistics. This indicates that 50% of all patients are not taking their medicine as directed, resulting in dangerous health complications as well as a worsening of the existing illnesses.
There are many reasons why patients might not adhere to their prescribed treatment plan. In some cases, it is down to the patient’s negligence while in others, it is due to a lack of engagement with their treatments and therapies. Here is a summary of some of the main reasons why patient medical adherence is so low.
Patient negligence and forgetfulness
One of the most common reasons for poor patient adherence is simply negligence and forgetfulness. In many cases, patients forget to take their medication or do not follow the prescribed dosage. This can be a particular problem for elderly patients or those with chronic conditions who might be taking multiple medications.
Low patient engagement with treatments
A lack of engagement with treatments is another major factor that can contribute to poor patient medical adherence. In many cases, patients do not fully understand their treatment plan or how the medication works. This can lead to a feeling of disconnection from the treatment and a lack of motivation to adhere to the plan.
Side effects of the treatments
Another common reason for poor patient adherence is side effects. In some cases, the side effects of the medication can be worse than the condition itself. This can lead patients to stop taking their medication or not follow the prescribed dosage. The situation can also be exacerbated by a lack of responsiveness from the doctors to the patient’s complaints.
Cost of treatments
The cost of treatments is also a major factor that can contribute to poor patient adherence. In many cases, patients cannot afford the medication or do not have access to the required resources. This can be a particular problem in developing countries where healthcare is not as accessible.
Low integration with technology
A final reason for poor patient adherence is low integration with technology. In many cases, treatments are not well integrated with digital health tools and resources. This can make it difficult for patients to track their progress or receive reminders about their medication.
As you can see, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to poor patient adherence. However, there is one common thread running through all of these factors: a lack of engagement with the treatment. This is where gamification can play a role. Gamification can help to improve patient engagement by making treatments more fun and engaging. Doing so, it can help to improve patient adherence and make treatments more effective.
Gamification in healthcare can help improve patient medical adherence
While many factors can contribute to poor patient adherence, gamification can be an effective way to improve engagement and motivation. Gamification is the process of applying lessons learned from successful games to improve engagement and motivation in real life situations.
One study found that patients who used a gamified app were more likely to adhere to their treatment plan than those who did not. In one study, it was found that patients who used a gamified app were more likely to take their medication on time, and had a better understanding of their condition. In another study, it was found that patients who used a gamified app were more likely to stick to their treatment plan and had improved communication with their doctor.
Gamification can help to improve patient medical adherence in several ways. Here is a summary of some of the ways that gamification can improve patient medical adherence:
How can gamification in healthcare improve patient medical adherence
Gamification makes treatments more fun and engaging
First, it can help to make treatments more fun and engaging. With gamification, patients can feel more connected to their treatment plan and motivated to stick with it. The use of points, leaderboards, and rewards can help patients to feel more engaged with their treatment and more invested in sticking to the plan.
Gamification can increase patient awareness
Second, gamification can help to improve patient education and understanding of their condition. This can lead to better engagement with the treatment and a greater understanding of how the medication works.
Gamification gives patients ownership over their treatment
Third, gamification can help to give patients a sense of ownership over their treatment. For patients, especially those with long-term terminal illnesses, regaining control over their treatment regimen is crucial to their dignity and overall quality of life. Gamifying the experience for them can lead to improved motivation and compliance with the treatment plan.
Gamification can make treatments more affordable
By making treatments more engaging, patients are more likely to stick with their prescribed treatment plans. This can lead to lower costs for the healthcare provider and make treatments more affordable for patients.
Gamification can improve doctor-patient communication
Finally, gamification can help to improve communication between patients and doctors. Products like PainScale which is a mobile app that tracks a patient’s pain daily in a fun and engaging way have yielded better levels of doctor-patient communication than before. Such a solution can lead to a better understanding of the treatment plan and improved compliance with the prescribed dosage.
Now that we have explored how gamification in healthcare can improve patient medical adherence, let’s look at why the healthcare industry is primed for gamification.
How is the healthcare industry primed for gamification?
Due to the recent advancements in medical technology particularly in diagnostics, surgery, and patient care, there has never been a better time for the healthcare industry to integrate gamification than now. Here are some of the main reasons why;
Healthcare is going digital
First, healthcare is going digital. With the advent of digital health technologies, everything from consultations to pacemakers can now be done online. This shift towards digital health has made patient engagement more important than ever before. The engagement is also required to be digital which is where gamification comes in. Because to increase consumer engagement in any digital field, you need some level of gamification.
For example, in one study, it was found that patients who used a game to manage their diabetes had better blood sugar control than those who did not use the game. With gamification, patient engagement is no longer a stressful issue.
Healthcare and pharmaceutical subsidies
Second, a lot of healthcare and pharmaceutical service providers get subsidies based on how many patients use the medication in the manner prescribed. This is unlike in the past when pharmaceutical trials were enough. The current system puts more pressure on patients to take their medication and this is where gamification can help. By making taking medication more fun, engaging and rewarding, patients are more likely to take their medication as prescribed and the healthcare providers are then able to receive vital subsidies.
The COVID-19 pandemic
Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for gamification in healthcare. With the increased use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring, there is a greater need for digital engagement between patients and doctors. Gamification can help to improve communication and understanding between patients and doctors which can lead to improved compliance with the treatment plan.
Gamification in healthcare is a great way to improve patient medical adherence. It can help to make treatments more fun and engaging, increase patient awareness, give patients ownership over their treatment, and improve doctor-patient communication. The healthcare industry is primed for gamification due to the recent advancements in medical technology and the increased pressure on patients to take their medication.
How can Octalysis help?
You cannot talk about gamification without talking about Octalysis. Octalysis is a gamification framework platform that helps improve patient engagement by making the process more fun and engaging.
Using the Octalysis framework, we can leverage the eight core drives of human motivation to create a user journey that’s as engaging as a live visit to a doctor. This will help to improve patient medical adherence and create stickiness for the app.
If you are looking for ways to improve patient engagement, then gamification is something you should consider. Octalysis can help you to create an engaging and fun platform that will increase your patients’ engagement and ownership of their treatment.
The platform uses game mechanics to encourage patients to stick with their treatment plan. This is because patients are more likely to stick with a treatment plan if they find it enjoyable. Octalysis can also be used to create a user journey that is as engaging as a live visit to a doctor.
Please contact us for more information on how you can integrate gamification into your patient-facing systems, to ensure that they are fully engaged with the treatment process.