Your kids may be the ones playing with a PlayStation, Xbox or Wii, but soon you might find your insurance company encouraging you to use a video game system. While this may sound like a prescription to turn members into couch potatoes, the reality is that insurers are just beginning to grasp the idea of gamification to encourage members to do desired activities, whether it’s exercising or reminding them to get a lab test done.
UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana are increasing their focus on gamification, which involves the use of game-design techniques, game thinking and game mechanics. As I wrote in an April 23 article in Health Plan Week while gamification has been used in other industries such as media, retail and technology for some time, health insurers are only beginning to understand the potential.
Humana and UnitedHealth are both using Xbox and its motion sensor input device Kinect for use in exercise as part of a wellness program. But Kris Duggan, CEO of Badgeville, one of the leading companies developing programs and games for businesses, tells me that health insurers are only beginning to tap the full potential that gamification has for them, such as data mining.
Do you think gamification will really catch on with insurers?