Feminine Gamification Viewpoint: Holistic Well-being
A lot of gamification solutions are found in the health and wellness sector, which encompasses everything to do with healthcare but also fitness, exercise, healthy eating etc. 69% of all household health related buying decisions are made by women and 80% of all general healthcare spending is coming from the ladies. Ironically 66% of women feel misunderstood by health care marketers. When you think about the nursing profession, this is majorly dominated by women, the same with care-givers. Now these statistics would indicate that women dominate the healthcare world both as buyers as well as suppliers, yet a lot of the decision about what happens in healthcare is not made in consultation with or with any female involvement at all.
Ask any of your lady friends, what does health and well-being mean to you?
My bet would be that she will answer with diet, exercise, mental wellness, education, care provision and possible a lot more. In comparison when you ask your male friends the list will be a lot more narrow. In short women tend to be more holistic in their approach to health and well-being. Most services in the healthcare world have a very narrow focus, they tend to be specialist. I would even add that most health services specialise in what they are able and willing to offer as opposed to what is best for the client or what the client wants and if a government department is behind it probably also politics over-riding everything.
This very lack of holistic focus caused game designer Jane McGonigal to design her app SuperBetter when she was recovering from a major health set-back. SuperBetter is holistic in nature, it measures everything to do with well-being from the physical to the emotional and the social as well as the very practical. I am a big fan of Jane’s work and have been using the app for some time. I like the regular reinforcement of bite-size steps as well as having full choice of the goals that matter to me.
A lot of health gamification apps however take a very singular view of one aspect of health and well-being and therefore missing the holistic focus of the female buyer as well as carer. Saying that apps that help track medication compliance, fitness, diet etc are all good, integration of all of your favourites into one is the ultimate in my view. Then I can tailor and tweak to suit all of my needs.
My health insurance provider seems to be coming along to similar lines of thinking, which is a move in a positive direction, but I would like to still see it go further. Prudential offers a program called Vitality, where you can tailor the insurance package you opt into and thanks to a variety of partners health assessments, healthy eating, exercise you can gain better prices on their services. They recently came out with a mobile app where I can track some of the healthy behaviours towards bronze, silver gold status, which will earn me additional rebates. the app can do with being a lot more user-friendly, but it is a step in the right direction.
What would be great is to integrate GP or other feedback into this system and when one lives a healthy lifestyle to also receive reduced insurance rates in my view makes it more win/win, currently the insurance pricing still goes up with age despite a healthy lifestyle.
Imagine a GP or health clinic, where you can book a free slot online, already inform the GP what you have done any questions you may want answered, you then show up and he explains his diagnoses and as well as telling you sends the same information to you via an app. Any medication needs or other tracked for progress and you enter progress which is fed back and gives health practitioners full view on a condition. It may in my view allow them to treat similar ailments better or be instantly informed of you history. Should you move doctor you can move your file with you in one place.
As a lady I like a holistic approach to health and well-being and from a gamification design perspective looking at a health in the same way is a good thing. I would love to see app integration as an option, so I select from all the narrow providers and make something my own.
Ladies, what health and well-being apps are you using and what would make them more attractive for you? Gents, how would you feel about holistic health and well-being apps?